Monday, November 25, 2013

Speaking at TEDx CorkWomen

I'm quite excited to tell you I'm speaking at a TEDx event on December 6th in my hometown of Cork. And the topic is ...*drum-roll* ... 'add sport into your life and stop saying no' with a segue into failed anti-obesity policies. 

I'll be speaking about MuayThai of course, and my own journey from 'what, sport? are you kidding me?' to 'yes, sport, gimme more!'

It was a huge thrill to be asked - and readers of this blog should all take a bow! Having talked about women and sports here for over three years now, I have a lot to say - inspired by you as much as I hope you've been inspired by the brilliant women profiled here. 

It feel strange to speak about my own journey for a change, definitely feels more natural to 'talk up' other women. Looking forward to hearing what people think about my wonderful sport. 

The full speaker line-up is here on the TEDxCork Women website. Women from the worlds of science, technology and business so far lined up - tickets are still available too here.

December 1999 WMC Intercontinental Champion - this pic hangs on the wall of the Bangkok gym I learned in - trainer Jitti on the extreme right.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Girls in the Red Bulletin

I have often mentioned on this blog how disappointed I am with 'Red Bulletin''s coverage of female athletes so am eating humble pie today. 

Fabulous cover on this month's mag with British snowboarder Aimee Fuller hanging in all her glory. 

Some great quotes - 'Girl's boarding is going through the roof. We're pushing each other and the sport,' she told Ruth Morgan. 

And inside a piece on Chesca Miles, a British motorbike stuntrider. This is a new sport to me, but very intriguing. 

She said to Ruth Morgan (who is maybe behind this sudden surge in interest in women's sports): 

'Of course I have bad days, but generally I'm prepared for breaks and bruises. Guys telling me I'm not good enough just makes me work harder.' 

So if you're in Ireland - pick up The Irish Times today, the mag comes free inside. 

Or you can read some of the stories on the Red Bulletin Ireland website here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: track, cycling championships

These photos are from Zimbo Sports - taken at the UCI Track and Cycling Champs earlier this month. 

(For some reason Blogger is not allowing a link to each individual photo as I usually do - follow the link above to find out more about these shots)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Swedish group "The Knife" on women, gyms and music

A music-video which shows a girl fully-clothed leading a group of male dancers through a gym? Yes, you need to see this. It's the latest tune from Swedish group 'The Knife" - if you haven't had the pleasure of a live gig, this video is a great taster.

The video for 'A Tooth for an Eye' won Best Scandinavian Music Video at awards in Norway this month. And it's become a cult favourite abroad, especially among those of us who prefer female singers and dancers fully clothed. This latest post on DummyMag gives a list of ten videos hitting that crazy criteria.

I saw The Knife when they played an Irish festival 'Electric Picnic' in September - a mind-blowing experience. Translated Lyrics on The Knife website  


Friday, November 15, 2013

Did women lose out after the London Olympics?

Olympics women Christine Ohuruogu Britain gold
Christine Ohuruogu PIC Mike Hewitt via The Mirror

Some young girls don't take up sport because they think a celebrity lifestyle is easier - just one of the issues discussed in England this week at the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. 

Sitting with the weight of the British parliament behind it, the committee members heard from athletes and advocates. And people who want to understand why the fabulous London Olympics and Paralympics haven't brought thousands of women into sport. 

Tuesday saw the first session in what will be a lengthy inquiry. Their remit? Oh, simply to solve the problem of women's disengagement with sport. You can read more on the homepage - maybe they will find out why.

At the weekend the Independent on Sunday looked at the Women's Sports Fitness Foundation's arguments on boards. (sorry to be only sharing it today, very slack of me) The WSFF want sports bodies to have 30% female board membership if they're state-funded. Emily Dugan wrote: 

"Six sports boards do not have any female representation at all – among these are British Cycling, British Wrestling, and England Squash & Racketball.

Former Paralympic athlete Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said: "We're in the 21st century and we need to move on a bit and stop finding reasons not to change.

"The numbers are just too low. A lot of governing bodies are trying hard, but we need to push them to get better."

Though the Government has given NGBs until 2017 to make sure at least a quarter of their board members are women, it has not yet succeeded in dramatic change. Of 57 boards surveyed, just 33 met the minimum expectation.

Not all sports are lagging behind, however. Nine now have female CEOs, and 16 NGBs already have more than 30 per cent female board members."

And on Tuesday the BBC reported world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu's views on celebrity. Speaking on BBC Radio 5, she said: 

"The best thing we can do is show them the benefits of doing sport - whether at elite level or recreational level where you are just trying to keep fit and stay healthy.

That's what is troubling, that more needs to be done to work out why these girls are not accessing sport at a recreational level.

We wonder how come the Olympic Games, the biggest competition in the world, came to London and it's not gained much traction. [It is] because there are bigger and better images that are grabbing these young people's attention."

... So what do you think? I'm preparing a talk on this very topic at the moment so it's all flying around in my head.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Winners for Nine for IX

Very short post just to say there are two winners of the ESPN Nine for IX Dvds: Catherine Fishback and Laura Canning.

I'll be in touch with the winners later this week, need to check with ESPN today about delivery from their side.

Hope the rest of you enjoyed the trailers at least -let's just say you were all doing so much sport you couldn't enter ....or you meant to but didn't make it, never mind - there will be more comps coming up.  

Normal blog-posts resuming tomorrow with some great Wordless Wednesday shots.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Last chance to win Nine for IX from ESPN

Today's your last chance to win the inspiring films 'Nine for IX' from this blog. Lots of you have commented and liked the idea on social media sites - so all you have to do is send in 100 words or less on why you should win before midnight tonight GMT!

Leave a comment here or email:  niamhgriffinonline <at> 

I love that the films were directed by women as well as being focused on some stellar sports-stars. Executive Producer is Jane Rosenthal who founded the Tribecca Film Festival along with Robin Roberts who American readers will know from Good Morning America. 

I've been watching the trailers, and wishing I could enter myself! 

If this is your first visit to the blog this week, check out Monday and Wednesdays' posts for more details! 

And here's a taster - the whole series distilled into one quick shot: 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Title lX

Nine For IX
American tennis player Venus Williams tackles equal pay

Katarina Witt East German figure skater

Pat Summit American basketball coach
The 99ers - American soccer team winning the World Cup
Today's photos remind you of the chance to win Nine for IX dvds as posted here on Monday ...

More Wordless Wednesday bloggers here.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Win DVDs from ESPN on Women in Sport - Nine for IX

Give-away time!!

Watch this inspiring trailer – and then read how you can win the four-disc collection!

The four-disc collection ‘Nine for IX’ celebrates the 40th anniversary of Title IX with nine inspiring docos on women in sport. They highlight basketball coach supreme Pat Summitt, tennis player Venus Williams fight for equal pay and the 1999 US Women's World Cup team, Olympic runner Mary Decker, free diver Tanya Streeter, sports journalist Robin Herman among others.  

There were signs that said no women allowed ... You're gonna be soft or you're gonna be tough ...She was the original mermaid ... Half of the human race is shut out of this profession for no good reason ... This can't go on, someone has to speak up ... Is she smart? We don't talk about that stuff but is she hot, Oh Ok ... 

What’s Title IX?  

In 1972 someone realised that women were never going to just become equal to men unless something was done at a State level. This one clause in the Educational Amendment changed the face of school and college sport in America forever: "No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid." Since then girls’ participation in sport has shot up, giving us – directly or indirectly - the adult women we see today in the Olympics and other tournaments.  


Tell me in 100 words or less why these documentaries would inspire you. You don’t have to be a professional sportswoman but tell me why you’d love to have these women on your shelves. 

Leave a comment here OR email me niamhgriffinonline AT before Saturday November 9th 

What will I get? 

Released by ESPN this month, the four-disc collection includes all nine titles from the Nine for IX series, plus two bonus films:

I'll be posting clips and photos sent to me by ESPN during the week to encourage you!