Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Vote for IWGA Athlete of the Year 2014

Another chance to recognise your favouite sports stars comes this month via the International World Games Association's Athlete of the Year contest.

Nominations are chosen from the monthly winners in 2014. Pleased to see female stars well-represented. They are Sara Lopez from Columbia for Archery, Paolo Longoria from Mexico for Racquetball, the German women's team for Canoe Polo, Italian Khrystyna Moshenska as part of a duo for Dancesport.

And Valentina Shevchenko now of Peru (formerly Kyrgyzstan)  for MuayThai.

I'm a little biased obviously towards my own sport of MuayThai but you can vote for any of the athletes here on the IWGA website.

This is Shevchenko in action from the video to promote her winning Athlete of the Month in May.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Dirty sports wear

So we all know when it's time to stop wearing that running top, right? Seems some of us don't, or don't even recognise when that towel has just been used too often.

I saw a very disturbing headline the other day: "Which bugs are living on YOUR gym kit? Hi-tech sports gear can be a breeding ground for bacteria that cause flu, norovirus and even MRSA, experts warn"

You should probably read this, it freaked me out just a little. Reassuringly it points out if you blast the germs in high-termperature washes it all goes away - just need to remember to spin them more often then.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Periods and sport for women

Periods, menstruation, time of the month - all words that male trainers mostly cringe at. But it is something we have to deal with, and yes it does happen every month. 

Heather Watson PIC Carlos Barria via Guardian
I read a fascinating article last night about this, and the different ways sportswomen deal with their periods. Titled 'Menstruation, the last sporting taboo'  it starts with Heather Watson. You may have heard the tennis player interviewed this week when she partially blamed her period for being knocked out of the Australian Open.

Initially my reaction was 'oh no, don't be that honest' and then I laughed at myself. If women like Watson never talk about this, we'll never be able find a way to balance all this out.

And it does affect us. I finally worked out through a painful trial and error process that sparring in my sport of MuayThai was just not a good idea for the first two days of bleeding. Bag-work and extra long runs were no problem but nothing complicated thank you. 

Just once I had to fight on those days, and it was, well let's just say it was not pretty. I wasn't tired but absolutely zero coordination, and my pain tolerance was way way too low for getting hit that hard.The kindest thing you could say about that fight was that I didn't get knocked-out! 

Who knows how much of this is mental? I'd like to think I was up for it, there was nothing to do  about the date, it was a big show and could not be turned down without a raft of explanations. Or so I thought. 

In the article, they talk about hockey players taking the pill as a team so they coordinate their periods. Maybe someday we can just say - hey, that week is not good for me. 

How do you deal with your periods and your sport?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This Girl Can - a sports campaign that really works

Finally - a get women into sport campaign that really should work. The 'This Girl Can' video, posters and all-round inspiration are from Sport England. 

Their mission statement? "This Girl Can celebrates the active women everywhere who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get."

Sport England cite research showing 2m fewer women work out than men but three quarters of the women surveyed want to be more active. So instead of focusing just on elite athletes - scary to many women, this campaign uses Zumba, jogging, cycling and jigging - lots of flesh jigging about mixed in with huge amounts of laughter.

Every time the advert pops up on TV (in Ireland we watch British channels as often as our homegrown ones) it brings a huge smile on my face. This should work. 

You can follow them on Twitter at @ThisGirlCanUK or just use find #thisgirlcan

And that advert? Watch and be inspired:


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Stephanie Roche's amazing goal in Lego

Yes, it had to happen. Or maybe not, but it has. As the focus grows on FIFA's goal of the year contest, Irish soccer player Stephanie Roche's goal and the other two entries have been immortalised in Lego.

You can still vote for Roche here -early and often as they say. 


Monday, January 5, 2015

Champion driver Danielle Murphy drifting to success

This appeared in the Irish Mail on Sunday recently - Irish drifter Danielle Murphy. If you want to know more, Murphy's Twitter handle is: @Drift_Queen1

(Not my byline btw)