From UFC to cheerleading, rugby to surf streaks, 2017 is going to have to be good to beat this!
Today is "Nollaig na Mban" or "Womens Little Christmas", it "officially" marks the end of the holiday season. While we may have been putting our feet up for Christmas, Irish sportswomen were busy this December.
She shoots, she gets shortlisted
December may technically be off-season, but that didn’t stop Camogie from taking centre stage. Specifically, Cats Camogie. The RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year awards saw the Kilkenny Camogie team nominated for Team of the Year, their manager Ann Downey nominated for Manager of the Year, and the team’s tenacious full forward and reigning Camogie Association/WGPA Player of the year, Denise Gaule, nominated for Sportsperson of the Year.
While Gaule ultimately lost out, her team leadership over the 2016 season deserves special mention. Congratulations on a brilliant season, Denise. Here’s to the continued success of you and your team in 2017.
Caroline Ryan retires from cycling
Caroline Ryan is one of Ireland’s greatest cyclists, but the time has come to hang up the bike and take some well-earned time with friends and family. Caroline represented Ireland at international events for over eight years, winning medals on both the Olympic and Paralympic High Performance Programmes. Caroline has also been an ambassador for the Cycling Ireland Bike for Life Programme, which encourages more people, women in particular, to get into cycling.
On her career Caroline said, “I have great memories from my time in cycling over the years, beginning with the Talent Transfer programme, which brought me into the sport, to the many highlights of my career.” These highlights include a number of firsts, including winning Ireland’s first-ever female Elite World Championship medal in Melbourne, Ireland’s first-ever Paracycling World Championship Medals with Catherine Walsh her as pilot, and also winning the first-ever World Cup medal by an Irish female track cyclist.”
We wish Caroline all the best in the future.
Leinster rugby success
Leinster were crowned interprovincial champions after an exciting final with Munster at Donnybrook on Saturday the 17th of December.
Jenny Murphy and Michelle Claffey bagged tries for Leinster leaving it 14-0 at the break. Munster were not in a mood to concede their title easily and just a few minutes in to the second half secured a try and Edel Murphy converted to bring the score to 14-7.
A red card for Leinster’s Murphy for an off-the-ball incident couldn’t slow them down and the game finished up at 21-12.
To all incredible women who strive for excellence
Earlier this month Serena Williams shared her thoughts on sports, equal pay and being one of the world’s greatest athletes and more in an open letter. “When I was growing up, I had a dream. I’m sure you did, too. My dream wasn’t like that of an average kid, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Not the best “female” tennis player in the world.”
Serena has high hopes for the athletes of tomorrow as well: “We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.”
A little more impressive than a Snapchat streak
Some teenagers can be lazy but not 18-year-old Meg Roh, who recently passed 2,000 days of consecutive surfing. "I started surfing (the streak) on June 1, 2011, as a way to practice and get better for an upcoming surf competition. I did not end up winning the contest, but I ended up surfing every day just to practice and be happy."
The Orange County senior made a deal with her parents and had to keep her grades up to continue surfing, and she happily did it! Grades, illness, weather, none of it could stop Roh. Here’s hoping Roh can keep the streak going!
Something to cheer for
Cheerleading has long been a female dominated sport and now it’s being recognised for the physical feat that it is. The Olympic Council has provisionally recognised cheerleading as an Olympic sport.
While there are still some people who doubt the athleticism of cheerleading, Linda Gooch, University of Central Florida's cheerleading coach of the last 31 years has this to say: "Anyone who does that eye-rolling has never had a daughter or granddaughter or niece involved in it. There is no question these young people are athletes".
When it comes to UFC we’re used to hearing about Conor McGregor, but right now it’s all about Ronda Rousey and her support of the #StrongIsBeautiful campaign. The former bantamweight teamed up with Pantene to create a video showing that being strong or beautiful aren’t mutually exclusive.
On another positive note the This Girl Can campaign that launched last year has seen a rise of 229,400 more women playing regular sport this year. Here’s hoping next year is even more successful!
Enough is enough
The Nigerian Women’s Football team are currently staging protests outside the parliament buildings since the Nigerian Football Federations are withholding bonuses and allowances. This follows a sit-in protest earlier this month, which included the team refusing to leave their hotel rooms until they were paid.
“They can't treat the Super Eagles [the men's national team] like this. The only thing we understand right now is for them to pay and stop making promises,” players were quoted as saying.