Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Boxing - not just for boys.

LtoR: Teresa Sinbimuaythai, Namwan Muay Thai, Geraldine Callaghan, Caley Reece, Gemma Sinbi, Natasha Sky and Victoria Fung Sinbimuaythai at Sinbi Muay Thai Training Camp - Phuket, Thailand.
PHOTO: Darren Reece, Riddler's Gym

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Flying Squirrel makes waves in Queensland

Meet The Flying Squirrel, and get your weekend off to an inspiring start. Don't let her being just six put you off getting in the water ...


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Inquest report on Lucy Stack's death

A few months ago I posted on the tragically early death of racehorse breeder Lucy Stack. Her moving letters to her family were reproduced in many papers and in that post, as were the tributes paid to her at the funeral.

An inquest into her death took place yesterday. It seems a lot of you are clicking on this blog looking for an inquest report, you can find that here on one of the Irish papers.

Ar dheis Dé a bheith a anam.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Afghan Cycles - Women's National Cycling Team of Afghanistan


This short film is simply inspiring ...

Best quote? "Biking with fear and trembling doesn't work. When getting on a bike one must throw those feelings to the wind, and not hold that feeling in their hands."



Afghan Cycles Trailer from LET MEDIA on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Learning from champions

PIC via Get Up Stand Up Paddle mag

Interesting interview with Brazilian SUP'er Nicole Pacelli in this month's Red Bulletin.

Just 22 now, she won the first Women's Stand Up World Tour last year. Great insight into what makes a champion, especially when asked about the pressure of competing with that title hanging around her neck: 

"Imagine, every stop of the tour now, the announcer goes: “And now, the world champion, Nicole Pacelli!” so everybody wants to see whether this world-champion girl really is the real deal. At the first stop of this season in Hawaii, my photo was on the championship’s poster, so I said to myself, “OK, it’s time to bring it.” But then I go into the water and I feel calm. That’s one of my qualities, I feel calm, lay low and do what I have to do. I thought the pressure was going to be an issue this year, but so far it hasn’t affected me. If I started to overthink what I have to do in the water, thinking about how many seconds are left in a heat and such, I probably couldn’t do it anymore."


British sprinter Jodie Williams tells The Guardian she's never run a mile

PIC Photograph: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

This is the woman who won 151 races in a row during a five-year winning streak, and that was before she won Commonwealth Games bronze this year. 

We know sprinters focus on high intensity, short distances but it was a bit of a shock all the same to read this: "Oh dear, the furthest I've ever run is about a mile – no joke. I don't think I've ever run further than a mile, and even that probably took me about half an hour. I can't run long distances."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Irish fighter Kelly Creegan wins against Thai fighter Phaa Sang from Nakonpathom; Saturday in Thailand.

(Round 4 only in video)
PIC: Josh Lewis


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why are we attacking sport in Ireland?

There are parts of the world where sports stars can get away crimes as serious as rape because they're seen as above the law. There may be only a few examples but enough to make anyone wary of eulogising athletes just because they're fit and healthy. 

Unfortunately in Ireland over the last few weeks there's  been a tendency to do the exact opposite. I posted a few weeks ago about an ambush interview on a (male, sorry) MMA fighter, and this weekend women's rugby got turned over. 

Once again a journalist was invited into a world she knows nothing about, given a tour of how something functions and spat all over it. As with the other interview I don't feel as angry as some online commentators but I do feel saddened. Again. 

The article included the classic reassurance that female rugby-players wear make-up and like boys. A string of juvenile jokes about where your hand goes in the scrum got the article going downhill, and it just kept on going. 

There were some positive moments. I really like the coaches' comments about the different ways men and women learn. I know some people were mortally offended by that, but I've often heard boxing coaches make similar observations. 

He said: 'Women are far easier to train. More inquisitive, curious and faster learners, whereas the guys take on ingrained habits.' 

Railway Union RFC, the club which hosted the journalist, had this to say on their Facebook - after they'd posted  a photo of the page: 

"Our first posting was done by one individual this morning. Whilst they may have had some concerns about the overall tone of the article, they tried to put a positive spin on it when first posting.

There were some positives in there in that rugby is for all body shapes and sizes, she references how much fun it actually was, it mentions how women are easier coach and learn quicker, and it tells a positive story about women's rugby being embraced and valued by the whole club.

We tried to dismiss the less flattering pieces as being 'risqué and stereotypes' and went to focus on the positives.

Obviously this was an error and it became apparent that our players and members - both male and female - were quite offended by the article. Our Committee reviewed the article and decided to provide a Club statement on the background to it and our disappointment of the missed opportunity for a positive article.

No conspiracy, no agenda, just a amateur club with hardworking volunteers trying to do their best to provide and promote rugby for all."

I'm not posting a link to the piece here. I see the paper has since had another female journalist write a riposte to the first piece. Total click-bait. But I couldn't let it pass - sports stars should be held to account for mistakes, for crimes and for being general idiots when it arises. 

But picking on them to get a rise out of listeners or readers? It's just not cricket.
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