Monday, November 25, 2019

Greta Streimikyte on succeeding in spite of labels

Greta Streimikyte RTE
Sport is all about categories, weights, divisions and labels but sometimes you meet someone who crosses over those boxes and simply does her own thing. You could call Greta Streimikyte an athlete, a runner, a visually-impaired woman, a graduate, a trainer, a European champion, a Paralympian or an achiever and you'd be right but for her it's all just living. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Grass Ceiling in Irish sport

Films about women in sport can be fluffy, but not The Grass Ceiling. Watching the trailer you're left with one line running around in your head: engine not ornament.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Time for fantasy league for women's sports?

The football fantasy league is the mainstay of many an office or pub group, but until recently was mostly confined to male sports. An app and podcast launching in America is turning that around to focus only on women's sports.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Rugby referee Grainne Crabtree on overcoming abuse

Over the summer I got to meet someone who faced the consequences of sexism in sport running out of control. Grainne Crabtree faced down the problem with grace and professionalism, and still togs out every week in her referee gear.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Boxer Cathy McAleer on the move with new sponsor

Cathy McAleer has spent her fighting career breaking barriers, and with the addition of a significant sponsor to her team she’s ready for more. Insurance company Its4Women have just opened in Northern Ireland, and as they were one of the first to sponsor Katie Taylor, it’s not surprising they’ve turned to Cathy. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Boxing talent on display in Offaly as Ireland face Italy

People talk about the Katie Taylor effect on girls in boxing today, but you need to spend an evening ring-side watching young girls boxing to really understand that phrase. Boxing coach Liam Brereton has been working with girls for years, and is seeing the results today.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Can Irish schools rescue girls' fitness levels?

Ireland's approach to PE in schools used to be really narrow and left many kids feeling bored and left out. But a new programme running in 80 Irish schools includes individual sports even fighting sports as well as dance and outdoor sports. It could be the secret to keeping girls interested in sports.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Taylor V Persoon The Aftermath

What a fight that was, I don't think anyone who saw it will ask again if women's boxing is serious. I was cheering for Katie Taylor all the way, she wobbled and she certainly didn't dominate every round but took the win in the end for the judges, and for me.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Why Delfine Persoon thinks she can defeat Katie Taylor

On Saturday June 1st Katie Taylor bids for undisputed champion across all titles but Delfine Persoon stands in her way. The Belgian champion with a background in judo is not as well known as Katie outside of boxing circles but she’s no push-over. If you want to know more about why she thinks she can win, read on …

Monday, May 13, 2019

What is happening in Irish Karate?

Karate in Ireland should be on a high as athletes try to qualify for the Olympics for the first time. Instead the organisation is mired in he-said-she-said arguments and some karateka were even told they couldn’t compete at one point. What’s going on and why is this month's EGM critical?

Monday, May 6, 2019

Sports Brands should support female workers, not just athletes

If sports brands are serious about supporting women, they should start with the women in their factories. That was the opening line in a newspaper piece I wrote recently, and if you believe that supporting women in sport should be about more than athletes, read on.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Inclusive Karate in Dublin giving everyone a chance to shine

Photos credit I-Karate taken by Sportfile
The Inclusive Karate World Cup took place in Dublin, with teams from 13 countries including 47 Irish athletes taking to the mats. The hairs were rising on the back of my neck watching the parade come in, led by a piper of course.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Irish Powerlifter Dee Fenlon prepares for the World Championships

I'd heard that kayaker Dee Fenlon was getting into powerlifting but only realised how serious this leap was when I saw her lift 211kg at the Irish championships. So of course, I had to track her down for a chat before she heads to the Worlds in June. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

What boxer Katelynn Phelan did next

After the London Olympics people said women's boxing was having  a moment but in Ireland that moment is really only going public in the last year. It's been building in gyms around the country and now you can see women fighting on many of the big shows. The latest to put her name  out there is Katelynn Phelan from Kildare.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Ice-swimming is simply addictive says Tiffiny Quinn

Ice-swimmers are different. First they need chain-saws to hack swimming lanes out of solid ice, and then they get in there wearing ordinary swimsuits. The Irish swimmers train in welcoming waters like the lakes in Glendalough or Wild Water in Antrim. Tiffiny Quinn was at the World Championships in the Arctic Circle in March; she filled me in on why she loves cake and hot chocolate so much.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Irish Olympians out to inspire the next generation

The big theme in Irish sport at the moment is putting role-models in front of young girls so they get involved in sport. It's a simple idea that could actually work as the latest campaign is reaching out past team games to bring sports like boxing and rowing to the fore.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Why Stamp Fairtex's latest Muaythai title is important

PIC One Championship

Stamp Fairtex and Janet Todd put on a show at the weekend in One Championship, not just a great fight but centre-stage on the main card. When Fairtex gear and the people behind American muaythai started promoting women about 20 years ago, it wasn't a sure thing but they're certainly reaping the benefits now.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Capturing the legends of Muaythai

Muaythai is an ancient sport, with many of its best fighters doomed to be forgotten thanks to the lack of archival material.  But American fighter Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu is working to re-set that balance with a great online project.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Masters Swimming shows you're really never too old for fun

Have you ever wondered what happens to swimmers who race at the highest levels in their 20s, and then disappear? Turns out quite a lot of them keep on swimming, racing in the Masters series around the world. Dubliner Charlotte Reid joined their ranks, and reckons she's swimming faster now than in her youth.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Giorgia Lyons on the ski-slopes for Ireland

When I was growing up skiing was something exotic and far-away, so it still makes me smile when I see the Irish flag flying at snow sports events. I talked to Giorgia Lyons one of this new generation as she kicks off the 2019 season.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Boxer Kellie Harrington on the move!

Kelly Harrington wins Gold AIBA 2018
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Kellie Harrington is a name long familiar to fans of Irish women's boxing, but in the last 12 months she has stepped right out into the mainstream. The World Champion has just added European Boxer of the Year to her bling collection. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Girls against the boys for IWGA Athlete of the Year

Svetlana Vinnikova a nominee for IWGA Athlete of the Year
Svetlana Vinnikova the Muaythai nominee for IWGA Athlete of the Year
Awards season usually sees women and men going for separate prizes, but more and more the contests pits athlete against athlete. Two martial arts women from Karate and Muaythai are up for IWGA Athlete of the Year in an online voting contest.