Friday, January 31, 2014

Ireland takes record points win in RSB 6Nations

PIC: Found on IRFU here

Ireland 59 Scotland 0 in the first RSB 6Nations game of the year this evening. Delighted to see the Irish team in such flying form ... although part of me feels bad for Scotland. A total drubbing is never fun. 

Seems like the only flaw was for people watching online. A few irritated comments like this one from ScrumQueens: 

Impressive win - Ireland get better & better. Dominated every aspect of game. Only thing need to work on is damn feed!

But this photo on Eileesh Buckley's Twitter feed @eileeshb made me smile;  captioned as smoke from the burger stand.

Brought up a few memories of chilly nights at the pitch in Ashbourne, in Meath - freezing cold and dying for something hot to eat. 

But being a veggie, I had to settle for a sandwich from the supermarket up the road, not quite the same.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Vanessa Mae gets ready for the Winter Olympics

Vanessa Mae PIC The Telegraph
Thai-British violinist Vanessa Mae will ski for Thailand in the Winter Olympics next week. ....Possibly one of the more unusual stories to come from the Games, and they're just starting. 

Fans of Mae will know she's always loved skiing (no, me neither) and has been building up her points over a number of competitions - she's ranked 3,166 in the world in Giant Slalom. 

That's also new to me - it's downhill high-speed skiing while weaving in between gates. Looks amazing to be honest, a definite adrenaline buzz if you make it to the bottom.There's also SuperGiant, known as Super-G

Coming from Ireland where we have a 'Granny Rule' to get British-born players onto the football team, I had to laugh at this line from Mae: "'I'm British but realistically there is no way I could represent my own country, but because my natural father is Thai, they have accepted me." 

I wouldn't usually draw attention to someone's age, but she's 35. It's great to see Mae striking out and still reaching for new goals at an age when many women are turning to the sofa. 

The BBC quoted her manager saying: she qualified "by a whisker" by pelting through four events in Slovakia recently. Seems it's all under this quirky Olympic rule: "Under current Olympic qualification rules, countries with no skier ranked in the world's top 500 may send one man and one woman to the Games - to compete in slalom and giant slalom.". 


 And you know, this is why we love the Olympics - you just don't get stories like this at other championships.

Eurosport video here from December of a tournament in Val d'Isere - warning though, you will want to try this after watching.

*updated to read 'Vanessa Mae' in the post-title instead of 'Vaness Mae' whoever she is ... 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Women's RBS 6 Nations time again
Victorious Irish team last year PIC IRFU
The Six Nations rugby tournament begins next week, with Ireland looking to defend their historic win of last year. So, no pressure then ... 

The fixtures are laid out on the IRFU website with the first match at home next Friday. Unfortunately it looks like I won't make any of them thanks to that thing called work, but will be cheering them on. And of course I'm delighted to see the game against Italy is in Dublin's Aviva Stadium - historically women's games have only been played in the provincial pitch in Co Meath.

There's always a great atmosphere in Meath, but it's hard to get to unless you have a car or lots of time to take the bus. Hopefully they'll get a good crowd for this - the men play Wales earlier in the day and you'd hope some of the crowed will stay on.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New boxing gym for Katie Taylor

Lovely interview here with Katie Taylor's father and trainer, Pete on the opening of their new gym.  The dilapidated condition of the old gym including a lack of toilets caught Irish attention two years ago and has finally been changed.

It looks great now, and delighted to hear Pete saying the number of female boxers there is still going up and up. Who knows how many other potential Olympians are training there?

The story and video were on the Irish Independent newspaper's site.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Mary Kom takes her message online

PIC: on MailOnline
Olympic boxer Mary Kom has launched an app to help women learn self-defence, complete with videos covering punches and using high-heels as weapons. 

This will come as no surprise to boxing fans who've long watched the bronze medallist and five-time World Champion. Seeing her fight at the London Olympics was one of the highlight of my sporting year - posted here when I came  back down to earth. 

It seems the app, aimed at women in her home of India, will be available in text-form and as a regular app for people with smartphones, and is produced by Vodafone. 

Kom (at least I think it's her) is quoted in the Mail Online saying: 'The app teaches basic things for people who have not done [boxing] before. If it is too hard for them, it will not interest them. Hopefully, if they are interested, they will continue to learn.'

If you're new to Kom's incredible story, you need to see 'With this Ring' - a doco shot by two Canadian film-makers, following her to the Olympics. 

Her full name btw is Mangte Chungneijang Merykom. She uses Mary Kom as her boxing name - although you will see Mery Kom also.

Here she is in action in London:


Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 gets going ...

PIC spotted on Deep Dig

That was a slightly longer Christmas break from blogging than I'd intended. But I'm excited about 2014, lots of great news out there for women in sport, and of course the Winter Olympics coming up on February 7th to kick it all off.

The stats-counter says there are some new readers here - don't be shy, and get in touch if there is someone you think should feature here. Or your own sport, always open to new thoughts!