Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Boxing can be cruel" as Irish team has mixed fortunes in Korea

Irish team at the AIBA world champs PIC via
The AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships continue in Korea this week with some great fights popping up all over the internet. 

It used to be that women's boxing existed in a shadowy corner of said internet. But add the influence of the London Olympics and the reach of social media networks like Twitter together and you get pretty decent coverage. 

In Ireland we're lucky in having Katie Taylor going for her fifth title, and three other great battlers in Michaela Walsh, Joanne Lamb and Claire Grace.

Walsh's Twitter feed has carried her raw feelings out to fans, no filter. 

She started with this: "Weigh in on Sunday for World Championships! Can't come quick enough I hate all this waiting about I just wanna get in and fight!!��"

Then: "The road to Gold starts for me on Tuesday. I box Jamaica, can't wait to get in and do the job! This is my time���� #worldchampion2014"

And: "First fight at the Worlds and I got the win! In control & gave her 2 counts. Good performance, next up Azerbaijan on Thursday.. lets go!!��"

Only to sadly finish with this today: "Gutted 2 say I lost on a split decision when I was clearly the more dominate boxer & knocked her down in the last round. Boxing can be cruel"

One of the Irish papers carried an in-depth piece on Taylor at the weekend, read it here online. She pays tribute to Indian boxer Mery Kom - at present the only woman boxer to hold five world titles. 

I was privileged to see both of them fight in London and look forward to see many more young champions coming from these games as we move towards Rio2016.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Vote Stephanie Roche for FIFA Goal of the Year

PIC via FAI Twitter

Every year FIFA chooses the best ten goals from the thousands scored around the world in amateur and professional matches. 

This year's final group contains a shaky-cam video of a goal scored by an amateur Irish female player in front of a crowd of ... dozens. Stephanie Roche plays with Peamount United, and she scored this cracker against Wexford Youths in October last year.

Have a look and please vote here on the FIFA page if you like what you see - one giant step for women in sport to see her judged on a par with male players. And even more exciting as this was an amateur match and Roche pulled off a goal to equal players paid millions for their work.

FIFA Ballon d'Or 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I was up in Croke Park - national stadium for the GAA sports of hurling and football recently. Delighted to spot this on the Christmas poster - a girl dressed up in a Dublin shirt.

Small steps, small steps ...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When women in sport met the Web Summit

Dubliner Emily Glen spoke at the Web Summit about women in sport recently. Her Twitter comments on feedback really made me smile. In a grim the-world-is-so-sexist-it-doesn't-even-know kind of smile.

For those you might not know the Web Summit is a rather large gathering of tech-heads in Dublin, and when I say large I mean more than 20,000 attendees over a few days of madness.

The tech-world is generally so far removed from being female-friendly that it's just not funny. One of the companies at this year's event sold bags emblazoned with: 'I don't put my sextapes on the Cloud.' Bit of a nasty reference there to women who are in this company's view stupid enough to trust the security on their Cloud services. (from Colin McGovern's Twitter)

But somehow Glen got in with an impressive speech.

It begins like this:  "My name is Emily Glen.  I am an amateur runner, recently completed my second marathon. I’m a sports fan and general sports enthusiast. I write about sport and social issues on the world’s least influential blog. I also happen to be a woman.

I wouldn’t have been able to introduce myself in this way 50 years ago. For a lot of reasons, chief among them I wouldn’t have been able to allowed to run a marathon 50 years ago. 50 years ago, we as sports fans wouldn’t have been able to cheer on Jess Ennis – Hill in the Olympics, the Irish Women’s rugby team as they took on New Zealand this summer, or Caroline Wozinack as she completed the New York Marathon on Sunday - because 50 years ago women weren’t allowed to compete to these standards."

You can read the rest on her blog  For The Long Run

But what caught my eye was her tweet that so many people were baffled women in sport could be a problem.  People asked her what she was going to talk about?
These are the people who see those headline figures Glen references and think that means everything is OK So it's good to see someone speaking at this type of event and raising those questions.

We talk about that invisibility bug on this blog all the time. And the more it gets talked about in other fourms, the more likely it is that at some point in time being healthy and strong will be seen as normal for girls - just like it is for boys today.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Highlights from UFC: Aisling Daly vs Angela Magana

Update to my earlier post on TUF battle between  Aisling Daly and Angela Magana.

Highlights now online at the UFC YouTube channel. Commentary includes: "Conditioning is definitely a weapon in this game".

Thursday, October 30, 2014

TUF getting closer to crowning a women's champion

Irish MMA fighter Aisling Daly took on American Angela Magana in the latest bout in The Ultimate Fighter last night. 

Daly was under a lot of pressure to deliver as she's less well known in the States than the other compeditors. She's publicly admitted she puts herself under more pressure than anyone else and has struggled with anxiety. Although Daly has also wryly commented on the effect of the dry Nevada heat compared to her home in Dublin (yes, it does rain that much here).

But she lived up to her promise, taking the win in the 3rd round. The Bleacher Report described it as:"a surprisingly strong performance".

That fight went out on Fox Sport which unfortunately I don't have access to - there's a limit to how many channels you can pile on to your bill before it gets ridiculous. 

The video doesn't seem to be available online yet, no doubt waiting till the full season is done. There are however some great photos here on TUF channel; a story in pictures if you like.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Do you wear makeup when doing sport?

This is a bigger question than it might seem. No matter how hardcore you are, everyone wants to look good in those Winner Winner shots. And while a few years ago you would have  had a few minutes to scape the sweaty hair back and declog your eyes, now it's instant so what's a girl to do? 

Irish fighter Kelly Creegan is facing this problem on a grand scale in Bangkok now. She's taking part in the 'Muaythai Angels' series which is an all-women show with heavy glam emphasis. 

I posted about the MuayThai Angels here before. But for a real in-the-middle-of-it look at the series, read Creegan's latest post on her blog 'It's Pandemonium'.

She writes: "(my friends) were adamanent that the girls all wore makeup at the last show, so freaking out i go and scroll through the photos of the Muay Thai Angels event and there ya go black smudges under the girls eyes after the fights" 

The post follows her thought process as she works out how mascara and fighting go hand in hand in Thai eyes.
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