Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Flying Squirrel makes waves in Queensland

Meet The Flying Squirrel, and get your weekend off to an inspiring start. Don't let her being just six put you off getting in the water ...


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Inquest report on Lucy Stack's death

A few months ago I posted on the tragically early death of racehorse breeder Lucy Stack. Her moving letters to her family were reproduced in many papers and in that post, as were the tributes paid to her at the funeral.

An inquest into her death took place yesterday. It seems a lot of you are clicking on this blog looking for an inquest report, you can find that here on one of the Irish papers.

Ar dheis Dé a bheith a anam.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Afghan Cycles - Women's National Cycling Team of Afghanistan

This short film called "Afghan Cycles' tells the inspring story of a group of women in Kabul, Afghanistan who cycle and race their bikes in spite of so many challenges. 

Best quote? "Biking with fear and trembling doesn't work. When getting on a bike one must throw those feelings to the wind, and not hold that feeling in their hands."

Afghan Cycles Trailer from LET MEDIA on Vimeo.

UPDATE February 2015: 

The BBC caught up these women this week, naming them 'the world's most unlikely cycling team'. It's a disturbing look at the challenges they face in trying to compete in sport while living in a country which strongly discourages that very thing. 

In a country whose image is still dominated by the burka-clad women, the idea of lyrcra-clad  women pedalling along the streets is confrontational. Assistant cycling coach Miriam Marjan told the BBC: 

 "If it's not their father trying to stop them, it's a brother or uncle. There is always somebody they have to convince."
But still they cycle and get out there on their bikes.

And if you're looking for still more about these inspiring sports women, the producer of the film above Shannon Galpin wrote a powerful piece for

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Learning from champions

PIC via Get Up Stand Up Paddle mag

Interesting interview with Brazilian SUP'er Nicole Pacelli in this month's Red Bulletin.

Just 22 now, she won the first Women's Stand Up World Tour last year. Great insight into what makes a champion, especially when asked about the pressure of competing with that title hanging around her neck: 

"Imagine, every stop of the tour now, the announcer goes: “And now, the world champion, Nicole Pacelli!” so everybody wants to see whether this world-champion girl really is the real deal. At the first stop of this season in Hawaii, my photo was on the championship’s poster, so I said to myself, “OK, it’s time to bring it.” But then I go into the water and I feel calm. That’s one of my qualities, I feel calm, lay low and do what I have to do. I thought the pressure was going to be an issue this year, but so far it hasn’t affected me. If I started to overthink what I have to do in the water, thinking about how many seconds are left in a heat and such, I probably couldn’t do it anymore."

British sprinter Jodie Williams tells The Guardian she's never run a mile

PIC Photograph: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

This is the woman who won 151 races in a row during a five-year winning streak, and that was before she won Commonwealth Games bronze this year. 

We know sprinters focus on high intensity, short distances but it was a bit of a shock all the same to read this: "Oh dear, the furthest I've ever run is about a mile – no joke. I don't think I've ever run further than a mile, and even that probably took me about half an hour. I can't run long distances."


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: MUayThai fights

Irish fighter Kelly Creegan wins against Thai fighter Phaa Sang from Nakonpathom; Saturday in Thailand.

(Round 4 only in video)
PIC: Josh Lewis


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

Ireland 17 New Zealand 14. 

Very proud and delighted to post the Irish women's rugby team beat the Black Ferns yesterday at the World Cup. It's the Kiwi team's first WC loss since 1991. 

PIC via Breaking

PIC Getty Pictures

PIC via Independent News


Friday, August 1, 2014

Ireland starts the Women's Rugby World Cup

Determination ... PIC Irish Rugby

The Women's Rugby World Cup starts today in France, with my home team Ireland taking on America this afternoon.
I was excited to see some great stories in the newspapers this morning. This one by Gavin Cummiskey is my favourite, closes with some stirring sports-style lines. Writing about the two longest-serving players Fiona Coughlan and Lynn Cantwell he says:

"Here also begins the final campaign for the Thelma and Louise of Irish rugby (although Cantwell has postponed her retirement).

Already they have inspired a generation of female rugby players. Here represents the last stand for the first group to have achieved such hero status.

So begins a daunting task but they’ve never known it any other way.

Sevens can wait

Indeed it can. You can follow the matches here with full results updated daily.