In the last month before the Camogie Champtionship kicks off, there were Irish successes in boxing, Jiu-Jitsu and equestrian.
It’s the calm before the storm! The Camogie Championship season kicks off Saturday, June 18 . And one person to have made the most of the pre-season break was Cork camogie goalkeeper Aoife Murray, who last month made a trip to Ethiopia. It was here, in a tiny village called Ropi, she witnessed the country’s first ever game of camogie.
"We brought jerseys, hurleys, sliotars, showed them how to pull on the ground and that was it, they were off," she said. "All the people in the village heard the noise and came down to watch."
There's 10 million suffering famine in Ethiopia so for children to get to a school that provides clean water, a supplementary meal and education, it's a complete lifeline for them.
Sadly Ethiopia is again in the grip of two-year famine and Murray, alongside Wexford goalie Mags Darcy, was there as an ambassador for the Camogie Association's new partnership with ChildFund Ireland.
"This isn't just box-ticking for corporate responsibility," Murray said. "There's 10 million suffering famine in Ethiopia so for children to get to a school that provides clean water, a supplementary meal and education, it's a complete lifeline for them."
You can find out more about Aoife’s Ethiopian trip in an upcoming Nationwide special on RTÉ, and watch her in action on June 18, when Cork play Waterford in their first Championship match of the season.
Get your 2016 Cairde Camogie Season Ticket
The 2016 Cairde Camogie Season ticket, which gives you access to all rounds of the upcoming Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Championship and the triple header All-Ireland Finals on September 11th in Croke Park, is now on sale. The tickets can also be used in the event of GAA/Camogie double-header fixture, subject to confirmation, in advance of the fixture.
Not only are the €40 tickets great value, 20% of each sale goes directly to the County Camogie Board where you bought it. For example, if a ticket is purchased in Kilkenny, or online with a credit card registered to a Kilkenny address, then 20% will go to the Kilkenny County Camogie Board.
You can buy your Cairde Camogie season ticket online from tickets.ie and from County Boards.
The light-welterweight final was a closely fought match but in the end the reigning Asian champion did just enough to take gold. As the second Irish woman to win a medal at the World Championships
World Championship silver for Kellie
May saw Kellie Harrington bring home silver from the Women’s World Boxing Championships, after she was narrowly beaten by China’s Wenlu Yang in Astana, Kazakhstan. The light-welterweight final was a closely fought match but in the end the reigning Asian champion did just enough to take gold. As the second Irish woman to win a medal at the World Championships, Harrington joins the ranks of five-time world champion Katie Taylor – a truly great achievement.
European equestrian success for Ireland
At the international show in Opglabbeek, Belgium, Co Tyrone’s Anabelle Heffron secured sixth place in the Under 14 Children On Horses competition with horse Porsha. Kate Derwin finished eighth in the Pony Grand Prix aboard Vales Blue Melody. Kate had earlier scored a win in Saturday’s Two Phase class with Springhill Rebellious (ISH), and she was also part of the Irish pony team who finished third in the Pony Nations Cup.
Meanwhile at the Italian five-star show at the Piazza Di Siena in Rome, Irish dressage rider Anna Merveldt finished fourth in the intermediate Freestyle To Music with 12-year-old gelding Forget Me Not. Merveldt also had two great wins on the 9-year-old stallion Idamantes LLC, scoring 69.553% in her final event.
Jiu-Jitsu isn’t a sport you hear much about in this country but this month, Mairead Coyle is off to California to fight in the rooster weight adult female blue belt category, at the World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championships. Co. Donegal native Mairead is one of Ireland’s top female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) competitors, and in the last year has taken podium spots all over Europe, including London, Berlin and Madrid. She also picked up a European bronze medal in January of this year in Lisbon and won gold at the Irish BJJ Open in May. We will let you know how she gets on in California.
Some amazing news from Fiji
I know I'm in a unique position to hopefully encourage young girls to chase their dreams
Bethany Hamilton, a one-armed shark attack survivor, has beaten the world’s best surfer in Fiji, finishing a career-best third in the World Surf League's Fiji Women's Pro. The 26-year-old, whose left arm was bitten off in a shark attack in 2003, beat six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore and world number one Tyler Wright before losing to the winner, France's Johanne Defay, in the semi-finals.
It’s a great achievement for a sportswoman who has never let her injuries get in the way of her ambitions. "I know I'm in a unique position to hopefully encourage young girls to chase their dreams," she says. "Even after losing my arm I'm still doing everything I hoped I could do. I'm a reminder for young girls that you can do it if you set your mind to it."
Finally, an audience with…
She has a busy summer ahead of her, and so we were lucky to be given the opportunity to hold a live Twitter QnA with 2013 European Sailing Champion Annalise Murphy. Here’s what she had to say about her pre-race rituals, porridge and weird things she’s seen in the water.