Sean McIvor and family.
Sean McIvor and family.

This week’s Friday’s Child is Derry man Sean McIvor. Sean is self-employed and runs the welding and fabrication business - Gamble Engineering.

When not working, Sean’s big passion in life is running. He started running two and a half years ago with Reach Running Club and since then has completed five full marathons, 15 half marathons and numerous 5ks and 10ks. After his first year of running Sean was asked along with six other members, to complete the Leader in Fitness course. Since completing this course Sean says he has gained confidence in leading different sizes of groups of people with various abilities. “When I got the opportunity to lead my own running club for U-Turn Fitness it was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he said “I want to thank Danny Glenn and Patrick McDonnell for giving me this opportunity. Coaching is something that I have grown to love. I thrive in seeing the expressions and sense of achievement on someone’s face when they complete something they thought they would never achieve. I have started to enjoy seeing other people succeed more than myself. U Turn Running Club is always open to new members. Our ethos within the club is U Can and U Will. Everyone has the ability to complete what they want in life. We run every Tuesday and Thursday night from Dunelm at 7pm.”

Sean as a baby.

Sean as a baby.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a happily married man with two beautiful children.

Happiest childhood memory?

I have a lot of happy childhood memories. Christmas with my family was always special. We all got up really early every Christmas morning. We were always spoiled with lots of presents but there was one thing we never got despite my sisters and I asking for it year after year – Mr Frosty!!

The U-Turn fitness club.

The U-Turn fitness club.

What was your first job?

My first job was at Pennyburn Engineering. I started working there as a Welder-Fabricator on the last day of secondary school. I went in for a summer job and gained full time employment. I worked there for 7 years before the business closed its doors in 2005.

I then started working at Gamble Engineering. After 4 years, I took over as business owner and to this day the business is going strong.

Favourite book?

Credit Union book lol – always there to lend a hand.

Favourite film? 

Bad Boys.

Favourite television programme?


Favourite expression?

Whats the craic?

Favourite method of relaxation?

Running. If I’m having a rough day the best thing to clear my head after work is to run.

Favourite holiday destination?

Santa Ponsa – This was where we had our first family holiday with our two children. We had a great holiday and would love to go back again sometime.

Who would you most like to meet?

If I could choose one person to meet again, it would be my father.

He was taken at a young age after a courageous fight against cancer and I miss him every day. I wish he was around to see how well I am getting on and what I have achieved in life. I have no doubt that if he was still here today, we would both be running an engineering business together.

What makes you angry?

Easy going people that say one thing and do another.

What makes you happy?

Seeing people achieve things that they never thought they could. I always say to my kids “Believe in yourself.”

What human quality do you most admire?

Honesty – as it’s the best policy

What human quality do you least admire?

Liars – can’t abide them lol

What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

I ran from Strathfoyle to Derry in a wedding dress to raise money for Foyle Hospice. When I first came up with this idea and told my wife she laughed. I then went onto tell her I was going to do it on the same day as the Brides across the Bridge and she told me to wise up. I talked myself out off the idea because I was embarrassed. Then I thought of the great cause I was doing it for and decided to go dress shopping. Hahaha. This turned out to be a great event and I raised a lot of money for the Hospice.

What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life? 

Losing my father to cancer when he was only 49.

What is your greatest fear?

Anything happening to my family.

What has been the high point of your life to date?

Running five marathons and raising a lot of funds for Foyle Hospice. This is a great charity that continues to support families through tough times. I have a strong passion for this charity and I will continue to raise money for them.

How would you like to be remembered?

Hard working family man, who always puts others before myself .

What is your most treasured possession?


If you won the lotto what would you do with it? 

I would help out my family first. I would then pay off my mortgage and go on a world cruise. I would donate a big portion to charity.

If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?

My dad to be with us again

If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?

Life’s too short – live everyday as it comes.