From bowling and boxing to swimming and soccer, June was a bumper month for Irish women in sport.
June was such a big month for Irish women in sport, it’s hard to know where to begin. So, we’ll start with one of our favourite sports, camogie. Now it’s not often camogie players are recognised outside Ireland, so bravo to Yahoo Sport who featured their six players to watch in this year’s Liberty Insurance All Ireland Camogie Championship. Do you agree with Yahoo’s list? Tweet us and tag #SupportHerSport
Katie Taylor went on to claim her 18th major title when she won gold at the European Games in Baku – no mean feat for someone recovering from a wrist injury. “I want to go down in history as the greatest female boxer of all time" she said afterwards, a goal she’s not too far away from.
I want to go down in history as the greatest female boxer of all time
Also in Baku, our Irish junior swimmers made quite a splash. Danielle Hill, Mona McSharry, Emma Reid and Rachel Bethel qualified for the 4x100m medley relay final with Bethel securing sixth place and Reid setting a new Irish junior record of 1:01.97 in the 100m butterfly semi-final. It all looks very promising for the future of Irish swimming.
Next to a sport you don’t often hear about: pole dancing! Following their appearance on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, Terri Walsh and Lisette Krol took their skills to Beijing to represent Ireland at the World Pole Dance Sport Fitness Championships. After winning their third consecutive World Title, Corkonian Terri said “I've worked my entire career to show people that Pole is an art and a sport, so we will just continue doing what we do and hope that people appreciate the strength and commitment it takes."
I used to go and watch them when I was smaller and every week I would beg the club owners to let me join but I had to wait until I joined school, and since then I haven't stopped
Meanwhile back in Ireland, Tallaght native Amanda Larkin has been busy training for the Bowling World Cup qualifiers, in her bid to represent Ireland at the Finals in Las Vegas. 20 year-old Amanda took up the sport aged five and is already a European bowling champion with numerous medals and titles to her name, something she attributes to her mum. “Mam used to play in a ladies morning with her friends and then she found the junior club for my brothers. I used to go and watch them when I was smaller and every week I would beg the club owners to let me join but I had to wait until I joined school, and since then I haven't stopped!”
Amanda’s success shows exactly why Support Her Sport – Liberty Insurance’s new initiative to get parents actively involved in their daughter’s sport – is so important. We introduced Support Her Sport at our Women in Sport Conference in Croke Park where presenter, journalist and ex-jockey Clare Balding and legendary athlete Sonia O’Sullivan headed a panel discussing issues surrounding Women in Sport. There was lots of food for thought and everyone went home filled with inspiration to drive Support Her Sport forward.
And finally, some good news for footballer Stephanie Roche, who was let go by Houston Dash last month. She’s been offered a contract by UK club Sunderland, who play in the Women’s Super League. It’s great to have her back playing on this side of the pond!