February was an action-packed month for Women In Sport, at home and around the world.
National Camogie Leagues kick off
The National Camogie Leagues got off to a cracking start in February. The opening weekend saw 20 teams in action, including defending champions Galway who beat Tipperary by 3-07 to 0-05. Limerick also had a great win, overcoming All-Ireland Champions Cork at Rathkeale’s Mick Neville Park, by 1-11 to 0-9. The second weekend of the league saw wins for Wexford, Clare, Galway, Cork and Kilkenny. With two consecutive wins each, Galway and Kilkenny are both top their respective groups, but it is early days for everyone.
It is important to recognise the commitment and dedication of the players across all counties in their pursuit of a coveted National League title.
Speaking about the new season, Camogie Association President Catherine Neary said: “The National Leagues are an important component for players to begin their intercounty season and provide an opportunity for emerging players to establish themselves within their county team. It is important to recognise the commitment and dedication of the players across all counties in their pursuit of a coveted National League title.”
Manchester City signs Megan Campbell
Great news for one of our home-grown internationals. Manchester City women’s football team has signed Republic of Ireland defender Megan Campbell. For the past three years Megan has been in the United States, playing for Florida State University on a sports scholarship. Previously the 22-year-old, who has 33 international caps, played for Irish clubs St Francis and Raheny United. And it seems Megan is delighted to be nearer home:
"Once I got word City were interested, I came straight over… It was something I knew I'd love to be part of," she reported via the club’s website. Welcome back to this side of the pond, Megan.
it was a great learning experience for the younger girls on the team, who will no doubt relish the opportunity to beat them [England] again in the near future.
Ireland’s Six Nations Title Defence Over
We are in the midst of the Six Nations, where Ireland had been defending its title, captained by Niamh Briggs and led by Head Coach Tom Tierney. At the time of writing Ireland are fourth in the table, having beaten Wales 21-3, lost 18-6 to France and lost to England at Twickenham, final score 13-9. Up until the last weekend in February, the competition was wide open but unfortunately after two consecutive defeats, Ireland will not retain the crown. After the match Briggs spoke of her disappointment, but said that it was a great learning experience for the younger girls on the team, who will no doubt “relish the opportunity to beat them [England] again” in the near future.
AFL Seeks Female Talent
Finally, we go Down Under, where the Australian Football League (AFL) has been looking to attract top female talent from a range of sports. The inaugural AFL women’s competition takes place in 2017, with eight teams taking part. A talent camp held in Sydney attracted a lot of interest from potential players. They came from a diverse range of sports including roller derby and Frisbee, in the hope of making it as the league’s new stars. It is understood top players could earn around $20,000 while others may only be covered for travel costs and incidentals. With disparate pay between the sexes still a hot topic, let’s hope sports fans attend the games to support this new league.