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2015, What a year of sport

With over 3,000 posts, 8,000 tweets, over 5,000 followers on twitter and 3,000 on facebook, it has been a fantastic first year and a very busy one for sportswomen.ie. The website went live on the 5th January 2015 and it has taken over my life really. I have the children brainwashed about women’s sport, the house has deteriorated drastically and I get “Mum you need to do a shop” on a regular basis !

sportswomen.ie is a great body of work and chronicles Irish women’s sport for 2015. There were many highlights for me but I believe Clare Balding’s visit to Croke Park was a tipping point for women’s sport in Ireland. Her no nonsense attitude and her immediate demand for coverage did not fall upon deaf ears. RTE have improved their coverage, particularly on radio and women’s sport is now becoming a regular feature on the national airwaves. The Irish Times currently have a two page spread every Thursday dedicated to women’s sport. While we are still a long way off, it is all moving in the right direction.

To all the writers, partners, supporters, contributors and sponsors to the Website from the bottom of my heart Thank You. It has been a labour of love on my part but the support and help I have received has been awesome !!!!

For two weeks I am going to take a break, from sportswomen.ie to come back refreshed and rejuvenated for 2016.

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year to you and your families.

Yours In Sport

Sharon

Here are the highlights of 2015, month by month

January

Basketball National Cup Semi finals and finals. http://www.sportswomen.ie/team-montenotte-victorious/

Annalise Murphy half line basket in Neptune Stadium. http://www.sportswomen.ie/glory-glory-glory-annalise-murphy-basketball-sensation-watch-2/

Getting to know Leah Maunsell http://www.sportswomen.ie/leah-maunsell-15-cross-cyclist/

WGPA Launch in Dublin. http://www.sportswomen.ie/tell-stories-wgpa-launched-today/

Amy Bowtell’s win in Sunderland. http://www.sportswomen.ie/glory-glory-bowtell-amy-wins-sunderland/

Stephanie Roche’s nomination for the Puskas Award. http://www.sportswomen.ie/last-chance/

February

Breifne cycled the world to help raise awareness of depression and was our first to feature in #TMT, Token Male Tuesday. http://www.sportswomen.ie/breifne-cycles-world/

Breifne

I learnt all about the Modern Pentathlon and was one of Natalya Colye’s and Arthur Lannigan O’Keefe’s most avid supporters for their World Cup#1 Silver Medal http://www.sportswomen.ie/pentathlon-glory-florida-2/

coyleand arthur

I met Shiofra Ryan who is the creator of An Tionchar, the new camogie/hurling boot http://www.sportswomen.ie/tionchar-new-boot/

Tionchar

I made my radio debut on RedFM talking with Dave Mac about women’s sport in the media, my number one topic http://www.sportswomen.ie/interview-sportswomen-ie-red-fm/

The Ashbourne Cup was in it’s 100th year and WIT came out Champs. http://www.sportswomen.ie/ashbourne-cup-final-goals/

ashbourne

This article created quite a stir on twitter and on facebook, It even made the Minister for Equality, Aodhan O’Riordain TD take note of the situation.  http://www.sportswomen.ie/media-coverage-making-blood-boil/

Waterford woman Kelly Proper celebrated her 19th national indoor title http://www.sportswomen.ie/two-pbs-proper-national-titles-climbs-19/

Kelly Proper

Cork’s Lizzie Lee came second in a world record half marathon race http://www.sportswomen.ie/womens-half-marathon-record-broken-lizzie-lee-second/

For all you golfers, there was a huge historic moment in women’s golf when the R&A invited their first female members to join http://www.sportswomen.ie/historic-day-ra/

RA

One of our most popular articles “Come on Mammy” encouraged all to Try a Triathlon http://www.sportswomen.ie/try-triathlon-year/

triathlon

Limerick swimmer Fiona Doyle broke three Irish records in Canada http://www.sportswomen.ie/doyle-3-golds-3-records/

Fiona Doyle

And then to cap it all Ireland beat England http://www.sportswomen.ie/ireland-beat-england-but-have-much-to-work-on/

Ireveng

March

March was the “month of the blog”. With new writers such as Monika Dukarska (Rower), Caradh O’Donovan (Kickboxer), Niamh Dorgan (Working Mom), Kathryn Cassidy (Kendo), Kate Coleman Lenehan (Modern Pentathlete), Miss Leah McCourt (MMA), Amy Fitzpatrick (Wheelchair Rugby) and Claire Fastner who has joined the ranks of Feature Writer, the features section has grown.

Monika Dukarska

Caradh O'Donovan

 

Niamh Dorgan

 

Kate Coleman Lenehan

 

Amy Fitzpatrick
One of the highlights for me was talking to Diane Behan who competed in The Race, a gruelling adventure race of 250km but the catch was to finish it in 24 hours.

I attended a Sports Ability Seminar which blew me away with the calibre of speakers and their inspiring stories.

My first marathon, by Niamh Dorgan was one of our biggest reads in March.

Cavan Football Team have been very supportive to sportswomen.ie, any article featuring Cavan in any shape or form is widely read and they produced the Dizzy Challenge which gives us an idea of the team spirit that Cavan has.

We continued our love for the Modern Pentathlon with Natalya Coyle and Arthur Lannigan O’Keeffe winning their second silver medal this year at the World Cup #2 in Cairo.

The Irish Examiner O’Connor Cup was won by University of Limerick (UL) defeating DCU in the final.

6 Nations

The weekend of the year, had to have been Ireland winning the 6 Nations in Scotland and the Irish Hockey team winning the World League 2 in Dublin.

Wexford-Youths-Women-WNL-Champions-2015

Wexford Youths were crowned Continental Tyres Women’s Football League Champions.

Team Montenotte made it the double winning the Basketball Premier League Final.

Chloe and Sam Magee broke into the top 25 in the world in the badminton mixed pairings.

Kathryn Thomas featured sporswomen.ie in her weekly page in the Irish Daily Star.

Bronze Medal

To finish off March, Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal won bronze at the UCI World Track para-cycling World Championships.

April

We met some new sportswomen in April such as motor racing Jennifer Mullan and  Caoimhe O’Ferrall and her dream of Olympic glory in kayaking. Our Row to Rio star, Monika Dukarska and her rowing partner Leonora, won gold in Italy.

We had a great response to a piece written by Sorcha Fox on Tipperary footballer Jen Grant.

Jennifer-Grant

It was a good month for our golfers with Stephanie Meadow doing well in the ASA International. Leona Maguire was blazing a trail on the College Golf circuit in the US and on home soil Olivia Mehaffey won both the Irish Schoolgirls open and Scottish Open back to back.

Olivia Mehaffey

Camogie had a changing of the guard with the stepping down of Camogie President Aileen Lawlor.

In hockey, after the highs of World League 2, the Irish Senior Cup and IHL produced winners in Ulster Elks and Pegasus respectively, and with UCD featuring well at the Eurohockey Club Champions Cup.

While our tennis stars are few and far between in Ireland, Jenny Claffey emerged on the tour with a few wins under her belt, and an ITF title.

Jenny Claffey

One of Ireland’s greatest athletes Madeline Perry played her last game on the women’s pro tour, winning the Irish Open.

The triathlon World Series got under way with Aileen Reid flying the flag for Ireland, and Eimear Mullan having a podium finish in Fuerteventura.

Natalya Coyle went from strength to strength on the World Cup circuit with an eleventh place finish in Rome. We learnt something about what athletes and particularly their supporters do to help our top athletes compete on the world stage with a great story about Conor Hillick and his support of modern pentathlete, Kate Coleman Lenehan.

Katie Walsh won the Irish Grand National aboard Thunder and Roses trained by Sandra Hughes.

Katie Walsh

Reanne Evans made history when she became the first woman to compete in the qualifying rounds for the World Championships. She fell at the first hurdle when she met Ken Doherty, who narrowly beat her. Watching this match we were strangely conflicted as we wanted Ken the Irish man to win against Reanne the English woman. National pride beat gender loyalty.

Leah McCourt won gold in the blue belt section of the NO Gi Jujitsu European Championships.

sportswomen.ie had the opportunity to attend the Women in Media weekend in Ballybunion. With the likes of Miriam O’Callaghan, Moya Doherty, Norah Casey, Mary Harney and Olivia O’Leary in attendance it was a great opportunity to hear about the struggles and realities for women in the media, for sure a work in progress.

Proud sponsors of Irish Women’s Soccer, Continental Tyres came on board and sponsored our soccer page.

conti-ad

The domestic soccer season came to an end with Wexford Youths winning the league and Raheny United taking the League Cup in a pulsating match.

U17 Irish Soccer Team

Our number one highlight for April was the Ireland’s U17’s qualifing for the UEFA European Championships in Iceland. The qualification tournament was in Cork and some great attendances at Cork City FC pitch ensured for exciting matches. Beating England 2-0 and drawing with Holland and Hungary we all had a nervous wait to see would the team qualify.

May

The Tesco National Football Leagues came to their conclusions, along with the Irish Daily Star Camogie League Finals. It was with regret that Cork’s Anna Geary announced her retirement from camogie and there was a great tribute to camogie goalkeeper Kathleen ‘Cos’ O’Leary.

worldcup2017

The big news in May was the announcement of the Women’s World Cup being held in Ireland in 2017. Cavan woman, Leona Maguire, was announced as the No.1 amateur golfer in the world along with winning the ANNIKA award. Olivia Mehaffey made it three in a row, winning the Welsh Open Strokeplay.

Christina McMahon became Interim World Boxing Champion of the World.

We are always interested in the up and coming, one such person was Emma Buckley, U18 hockey goalkeeper who told us her story so far.

Ireland won bronze at the European Team Championships in squash.The Irish hockey team celebrated 100th caps for Lizzie Colvin and Anna O’Flanagan during their North American tour as they prepared for the World League 3 in Valencia in June.

Two new sports to sportswomen.ie were netball and water polo with Ireland hosting international tournaments.

ITU World Triathlon Series, Auckland, New Zealand 29/3/2015 Ireland's Aileen Reid during the bike leg of the Women's Elite race Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Photosport/Darryl Carey

ITU World Triathlon Series, Auckland, New Zealand 29/3/2015
Ireland’s Aileen Reid during the bike leg of the Women’s Elite race
Credit ©INPHO/Photosport/Darryl Carey

Aileen Reid continued to perform in the World Triathlon Series, with a 6th place finish in Japan, ranking her 7th in the world.

sportswomen.ie reached the finals in the Sockie Social Media Awards 2015 for the best use of Instagram.

Aoife McDermott wrote about the Women’s Premier Select playing in Luxembourg and the great need to get Ireland back on the map in International Basketball.

Jenny Egan won bronze at the European Canoe Sprint Championships.

Jenny Claffey told us her story as she takes on the pro circuit with the help of Jake Nalepa who was one of our Token Male Tuesdays. With World Cup Fever in the air, Michelle Ackers, US Soccer legend found her passion in life after soccer and Irish Soccer Player Louise Quinn gave us her thoughts on the World Cup in Canada.

YG4AGTransition year students from Dublin told us about their project You’re Good for a Girl. We were so impressed with their project, sportswomen.ie created a YG4AG category of it’s own.

There were medals galore from the AIBA World Youth and Junior Championships in Taiwan and Annalise Murphy won silver at the Delta Lloyd Regatta.

Local legends, Siobhan Devlin and Anna Maria Mullally told us their stories about their sports.


Here is a great video of Asisat Oshoala who won BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year.

June

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Clare Balding Liberty Insurance Women in Sport in Ireland 'WISE UP' Study Launch, Croke Park, Dublin 11/6/2015 ‘WISE UP’ STUDY UNCOVERS BARRIERS TO AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GREATER PARTICIPATION OF ‘WOMEN IN SPORT’ 73% of those now attending live sports fixtures also did so as children. Liberty Insurance calls on parents and families to pledge to bring daughters, nieces, and granddaughters to sporting fixtures. #supporthersport Pictured at Croke Park is Annette Ni Dhathlaoi, Head of Marketing Liberty Insurance, and Clare Balding, author, TV and Radio presenter discussing new research and insights into Women in Sport in Ireland as Liberty Insurance revealed a new study¹, ‘WISE UP’. The study has clearly found that going to matches as a child normalises a sporting habit for later life. Liberty Insurance is launching a pledging campaign to encourage parents and families to bring their daughters, sisters, nieces, and granddaughters to a women’s sporting fixture this year. People can tweet their pledge using #supporthersport. Strikingly, ‘WISE UP’ also revealed that Irish women are more active than Irish men – 55% of women describe themselves as active compared to 45% of men. The study is part of a wider series of initiatives undertaken by Liberty Insurance, proud partner of both the GAA Hurling and Camogie Championships, to shine a light on the challenges and opportunities that exist around unlocking transformational gains in Women in Sport (WIS) in Ireland. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

June was the month of some major sporting events, the European Games in Baku, the start of FIFA Women’s World Cup and the hockey World League 3 in Valencia.

The Aisling McGing U21 Football Championship came to it’s conclusion with Dublin winning the A Championship and Donegal winning the B Championship.  The Liberty Insurance Camogie Championship kicked off and the WGPA showed us some of the great work they are doing behind the scenes.

KT1The European Games gave many Irish athletes an opportunity to compete in an Olympic type event for the first time. Katie Taylor won gold in the ring, Chloe Magee won a bronze medal with her brother Sam in the badminton mixed doubles, the swimmers had some fantastic results and the women’s basketball 3×3 team grew in strength with each game.  Jenny Egan had a great performance in the canoeing just finishing outside the medals in Baku.

Picture-of-FIFA-Womens-World-Cup-2011-156cThe FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off in Canada on the 6th June. With 24 teams in the tournament, it brought a worldwide audience to women’s soccer.

It was 20 years since Sonia O’Sullivan’s historic victory in the 5,000 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Gothenburg in 1995. To commemorate her achievement there was the Sonia 5K in Dun Laoighre.

On a personal note I made the list of the 50 most influential women in Irish sport, a list compiled by Sport for Business and Queen B Athletics did a lovely article on yours truly. I also had the excitement of meeting Sonia O’Sullivan and sitting beside John Treacy at the #supporthersport launch while listening to Clare Balding speaking about women in sport (in my element !)

The Hockey World League 3 had the highs and the lows that come with every sport. The Irish hockey team missed out on qualification for Rio. Ireland’s professional 7s rugby team got their Olympic Qualification campaign underway.

Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal won bronze at the UCI paracycling Road World Cup in Italy. It was another silver for Modern Pentathlon pair Natalya Coyle and Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe in the mixed relay in Belarus. This result brought them to number one ranking in the world.

One to watch is Candace Hill who broke 11 seconds for the 100m, the first high school girl in the US to do so.

July

July was a busy month with provincial finals in gaelic football, the Camogie Association found itself in troubled waters with the “Toss of a coin” debacle between Clare and Dublin, the Special Olympians headed to the US, winning all round them and giving the country immense pride and joy of their achievements.

Vancouver, Canada - Sunday, July 5, 2015: The USWNT defeat Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final at BC Place.

Vancouver, Canada – Sunday, July 5, 2015: The USWNT defeat Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final at BC Place.

The Women’s Soccer World Cup came to it’s conclusion with record viewership numbers and USA coming out on top.

The Senior Irish Hockey team picked themselves up from the disappointment of Valencia and won the Eurohockey II Championships, promoting themselves to the top league in Europe. Their U18 counterparts did the same becoming European Champions in their league.

The Rugby Sevens team won their way into the Repechage giving themselves another chance to qualify for Rio 2016. Swimmer Fiona Doyle won bronze and silver at the World University Games in Gwangju.

Leona Maguire continued her winning ways coming second in the European Masters. sportswomen.ie had the pleasure of meeting both Leona and Lisa Maguire at the AIG Splash Event , along with tennis player Jenny Claffey, Dublin’s Sinead McGoldrick and Ali Twomey. Laura Davies was inducted into the World Golf hall of Fame.

Our features sections had many great stories including ones on surfing, table tennis and marathon runner Breege Connolly.

We also had World Champions in Weight Lifting and three of our open water swimmers completed the English Channel.

August

Both the Camogie and Gaelic Football Championship were getting to the business end of things in August.

Aisling Reilly became World Handball Champion.

NO FEE FOR REPROFINGAL FESTIVAL OF FOOTBALLHundreds of children from tested their football skills today, August 15, 2015, at the AUL grounds, Clonshaugh, in Dublin.The Fingal Football Festival, now in its 13th year, was initially developed as a cross-Border event for boys. But it now comprises of over 70 teams, involving boys, girls, Powerchair and Special Olympics.Pictured showing off their skills at the Fingal Festival of Football were Grace Farrington, Katie Gaskin, Alisha Kennedy, Jody Whelan, Emma Duffy, Lily Gaskin all from the Project Fun Direction, North Dublin playing in the Girls U9 tournament.This year’s event saw the fifth running of the girls (U9-U13) Soccer Festival being held to promote the underage girl’s game and the second running of an U8 event for the boys & girls about to play in their very first season. The FAI also held a KickStart 1 Course for coaches beginning their first steps on the coaching ladder.For further information on the Girls’ Soccer Festival contact: Paul Keogh Fingal/FAI Development Officer paul.keogh@fai.ie or 086-0444435 .For further information on the Fingal Festival of Football Event contact Niall Mc Guirk Senior Sports Development Officer niall.mcguirk@fingalcoco.ie or 087-120 6431

Pictured showing off their skills at the Fingal Festival of Football were Grace Farrington, Katie Gaskin, Alisha Kennedy, Jody Whelan, Emma Duffy, Lily Gaskin all from the Project Fun Direction, North Dublin playing in the Girls U9 tournament.

There were some great features on golf, triathlon, open-water swimmingpersonal triumphs and a local project on introducing sport to young girls in Dublin.

Rugby’s Sophie Spence was nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year and hockey’s Nikki Symmons was inducted into the European Hockey Federation Hall of Fame.

New sports to the website in August were Ultimate Frisbee and the Irish Lacrosse team performed very well at the European Championships.

Kerry’s Josie Knight had a 4th place finish at the Junior World Cycling Track Championships.


The World Athletic Championships got under way in Beijing and Kerry O’Flaherty gave us her account on life at the Championships.

Tennis star Jenny Claffey had a doubles win in Egypt. Catherine Walsh had a fantastic performance in her first paratriathlon with Fran Meehan in the US.

In golf the Island reigned supreme in the Irish Senior Cup and Olivia Mehaffey took 2nd in the British Open Amateur Championships.

Dympna Morris won silver at the FINA Masters World Championships and Ireland won bronze at the Eurohockey Masters Championships

The Continental Tyres Women’s National Soccer League was launched at FAI headquarters with a great day for all the players that gathered on the day.

Ireland achieved their highest placing in the FIBA U16 European Championships.

The Irish Rugby 7s achieved qualification for the World Series next year and sportswomen.ie spoke to Lucy Mulhall about her achievements to date and her future hopes in the game.

The World Rowing Championships got underway in France with Olympic places up for grabs.

The personal highlight was heading to Cowes with Helly Hansen and meeting Round the World Ocean Racer Sally Barkow

September

Cork did the double winning the camogie and football All Ireland Senior Championships. Waterford won the double in the Intermediate and Laois won the Premier Junior in Camogie while Louth took no prisoners in the Junior Football Final. The TG4 All Ireland Senior Football final also drew a crowd of over 31,000 making it the largest attended women’s sports event in Europe this year.

27 September 2015; Cork players, from left, Bríd Stack, Briege Corkery, Geraldine O'Flynn, Valerie Mulcahy, Deirdre O'Reilly and Rena Buckley, who have each won 10 All-Ireland Senior Football medals. TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

27 September 2015; Cork players, from left, Bríd Stack, Briege Corkery, Geraldine O’Flynn, Valerie Mulcahy, Deirdre O’Reilly and Rena Buckley, who have each won 10 All-Ireland Senior Football medals. TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

The World Rowing Championships came to their conclusion with Irish Rowers Claire Lambe and Sinead Jennings qualifying their boat for Rio. The Munster Rugby team won the Interprovincial series and Ras na mBan took to the roadways of Ireland with fantastic photos of the event sent our way.

Aileen Reid continued to show her form at the World Series Grand Final coming 9th and staying in the top 10 in the world. Ireland’s U19 Soccer team qualified for the Elite phase of the European Championship Qualifiers. Ireland’s gymnasts won medals at the Northern European Championshipsin Limerick.

There were some great features with a terrific article from Ellen McEvoy on 20 minutes of PE. Reaction of this piece led to an article from Brid Dunne who wrote a letter to her 15 year old self. Kerry O’Flaherty told us all about her World Championships in Beijing and meeting up with Bolt.


While Serena Williams didn’t win the US Open check out this great video of her rise to glory. Rosaleen McKweon shared her running story with sportswomen.ie and an inspiring story came from parathlete Frances Bateman. Aine Donegan one of Ireland’s inform triathletes also told us her story.

jennyegan

Jenny Egan

Jenny Egan came 4th in the World Marathon Championships in canoeing. Olivia Mehaffey was Ireland’s only player on the Junior Solheim Cup Team while her senior counterparts battled it out against the US in the Solheim Cup in Germany. Staying with golf the AIG Cups and Shields Finals threw up some great results bringing clubs from all over the country to Knightsbrook Golf Club.

soniaSonia O’Sullivan received a great welcome in her hometown of Cobh with the unveiling of a new statue to the legend and a 5K run to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her win at the World Championships. Jennifer Mullan secured the 2015 Pre-87 All Ireland Formula Ford 1600 Crown in Mondello Park and Lizzie Lee smashed the marathon Olympic qualifying time in Berlin.

It was announced that Ireland will host the Eurohockey U18 girls and boys tournaments next Summer, which will be played in Cork.

The Helly Hansen “On the Horizon” blog from sportswomen.ie was shortlisted for the Best Blog Post at the Blog Awards Ireland 2015 along with making the semi final list of the Digital Marketing Awards 2015.

October

The All Star nominees for Camogie and Gaelic Football were annnounced at the beginning of October.

The European Masters Games brought many medals for Irish swimmers. Kickboxer Caradh O’ Donovan picked up silver in Belgium. The club, Dublin Archers won bronze at the European Club Team Championships. Leona Maguire received the ANNIKA award along with winning her fourth collegiate title. Five Irish female athletes competed at the Ironman World Championships all completing the course and Fionnuala McCormack ran well within the Marathon Olympic qualifying time in Chicago.

We met Rebecca Mooney, young TaeKwondo star and 60 year old Cecilia Deehan who runs marathons. Olympic qualifier Lizzie Lee told us about her Olympic journey so far.

Many clubs around the country benefitted from the Sports Capital Grant Scheme. A feature on KidsMarathon was very popular with our readers and a great weekend was had by all who took part in the Killarney Adventure Race.

SPORTSWOMENIE_FRONT_COVERTogether with Jen Murphy Sketches, sportswomen.ie produced a 2016 Sportswomen Calendar featuring many of our top Irish athletes.

Cork legend, Donie Walsh, spoke to Niamh Dorgan and told us some of his secrets to good running.

Sasha DiGiulian sent shivers down our spines as we watched her climb the Eiger.

One to watch is Ellen Ince, ITF TaeKwondo World Champion and Paige Alms shows us how it is done on the waves in Hawaii.

Susie Mitchell became World Masters Track Champion and Tramore woman, Sinead Lohan, came 2nd in the ITA All American Tennis Championships.

Caradh_BristolOpenCaradh O’Donovan achieved Gold at the Bristol Open in kickboxing while Nicole Drought is contender for Young Racing Driver of the Year.

The Irish Cycling team were beating records at the European Track Championships in Grenchen.

Olivia Mehaffey went from strength to strength with her 4th win in the year in the Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championships and Sophie Richards won bronze at the World Breeding Championships.

The announcement of Electric Ireland coming on board as sponsors to the Irish Olympic team was overshadowed by the resignation by Billy Walsh from the IABA.

The Republic of Ireland U17s topped their group to qualify for the elite phase of the UEFA European Championships.

emmagrayIreland’s most capped hockey goalkeeper, Emma Gray, retired from international duty having played 118 times for Ireland. While we are all about the women we have to mention the men’s hockey team who qualified for the Olympics.

Basketball Ireland announced the return of the Irish Basketball team to the international stage.

We heard more from Project Fun Direction and their meeting up with a similar project from Germany.

Niamh McCarthy won Ireland’s first medal at the IPC World Championships.

ellisoreillyEllis O’Reilly successfully qualified a place for Ireland to the next stage of 2016 Olympic Games qualification at the Rio Test Event in April 2016.

Shauna O’Brien from UCD Swimming Club broke three Irish records in Manchester.

The Maguires helped Duke win back to back tournaments at the Landfall Tradition tournament in Wilmington.

Maria McCambridge was forced to pull out of the Frankfurt Marathon after 24km. With three Irish athletes already achieving the Olympic qualifying time McCambridge will need to reassess her next move for qualification.

The Irish Rugby squad was named for their November international against England. Staying with rugby, Ireland’s Sophie Spence was nominated for the World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year 2015.

Ireland had their first win in their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign against Portugal.

Pauline Curley won the Dublin Marathon in 2:49:29 making her the oldest Champion in the 143 year history of the National Championships.

sportswomen.ie made the shorlist of the inaugral Sports Industry Awards 2015 in the category of Best Innovation in Sport.

There were medals galore at the IPC World Championships for Ireland’s parathletes.

sportswomen.ie attended the Women in Sport, Let’s Level the Playing Field,conference in Dublin Castle and had the opportunity to speak about the promotion of role models through the media. The conference was hosted by Minister for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Minister for Sport Michael Ring, while the Tanaiste Joan Burton also attended.

Camogie announced the final nominees for their 12th All Star Awards.

katietaylorKatie Taylor added the ANOC Award to her list of achievements.

Judy Reynolds set a new Irish record in dressage at the Reem Acra five-star World Cup qualifier in Lyon, France.

The Irish Track Cycling team competed at the World Cup in Cali, with a top ten finish in the Pursuit.

Leona Maguire spoke about her Annika Award and Real Girl Sport shared the story “Age no limit for women in Boxing and Running.”

November

Marian Hughes won the Spanish Grand Prix. There were some great birdie putts sunk at the East Lake Cup Final.

cdma2sportswomen.ie was awarded the CDMA Award for the best website with less than 10 employees and was also nominated for the best Innovation at the Irish Sports Industry awards. While sportswomen.ie did not win the award “Women in Sport” had centre stage on the night with Anna Geary, Fiona Coghlan and Sarah Keane.

Danielle Murphy claimed the Queen of Europe Champion Title in motorsport.Leona Maguire was presented with the Mark H. McCormack Medal as World No. 1 Amateur. What a year for her. Staying with golf, Shannon Burke, became Intervarsity Champion.

The Irish hockey team had mixed results in their three match series against Scotland.

History was made when Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.

allstarsThe Camogie All Star Awards were presented at the beginning of November. Wexford Youths won the Inaugral Continental FAI Cup Final at the Aviva Stadium against Shelbourne Ladies.

Siobhan Sheerin and Clare Shine showed us their class with both achieving hat tricks when they mattered.

Relentless, a book about the Cork Ladies Football team by Mary White hit the shelves in time for Christmas.

There were some great features with an interview with rugby player Sophie Spence, before their Autumn international against England. Deirdre Murphy of Clare Camogie Fame spoke about her job as GAA development officer in UL and Jen Murphy, the artist behind the sportswomen 2016 calendar spoke candidly to sportswomen.ie about her love of art and sport.

Patricia Jackman was crowned Poc Fada Champion for the 7th time.  The U17 and U19 draws were made for the Elite round of the European Championships 2015/16.

Jennifer Mullan got an invite to join Ecurie Australie for the Phillip Island Classic.

Kate Butler wrote a very interesting piece on “The Game We Play: arts, sports and sexism in Ireland.”

allstarsOne of the highlights of the year for sportswomen.ie was attending the TG4 LGFA All Star awards in the City West Hotel.

CEO of Hockey Ireland, Mike Heskin announced that he was leaving to take up the role as Director of Sport in NUIG.

Swimmer, Fiona Doyle, was recognised as an Academic All Canadian, to cap off a good year for the Limerick woman. Golfer, Stephanie Meadow, also received an award, voted on by her peers, the Heather Farr Perseverance Award.

madelineperry

Madeline Perry

Squash legend, Madeline Perry, was honoured with a testimonial at the Fitzwilliam Tennis Club.  Shauna O’Keeffe won her semi final in the Elite National Boxing Championships to set herself up with a fight against Katie Taylor for the National title.

Johnstownbridge won the AIB All Ireland Junior Club Championship beating Athleague in the final and Fionnuala McCormack won her 7th National Cross Country title in Santry.

The Premier Basketball League isn’t all one way traffic for Team Hotel Montenotte this year with Killester and DCU Mercy challenging for the title. Leona Maguire was nominated for the Irish Times Young Sportstar of the Year which she duly won in December.

A new sport to sportswomen.ie is kettle bell lifting. The World Kettle Bell Lifting Championships were held in Dublin. Mary Immaculate were crowned All Ireland Fresher Champions in the National Camogie Blitz while the Ashbourne Cup 2016 kicked off.

One of our regular bloggers, Niamh told us all about the unique experience of running the Lust for Life 5k run in Cork Airport. Irish woman Eleanor Dorran came third in the Antarctic Ice Marathon, running in -20 degree Celcius conditions.

Ruth Fahy was voted Continental Tyres National League Player of the Month for October and the Camogie Association received great news with €25,000 coming their way from the Coca Cola Thank You Fund.

The Irish Basketball Team are back after 6 years, with Mark Scannell announced as head coach. The Irish Soccer team fell to defeat against Spain with a 3-0 loss.

Katie Taylor won her first National Title in the ring. Her previous 4 wins were all walk overs. Shauna O’Keeffe, her brave opponent, gave a fine account of herself with a final score of 40-36 across the board.


The Irish Cricket Team made a great start in their World Cup Qualifier in Thailand, with two wins out of two. An inspirational story from Sinead Kane was one of the top highlights of the November.

December

It was announced that the Irish Rugby team will take on Canada and England in Autumn 2016. The Irish Soccer team will play USA in January as part of their preparations for the Euro Qualifiers which continue in April.

Stephanie Meadow returned to Q-school hoping to get her LPGA tour card. Leona Maguire and Olivia Mehaffey were invited to a Curtis Cup session in Dun Laoghaire Golf Club.

cricket5There was great news when the Irish Cricket Team qualified for the T20 World Cup winning the qualifier in Thailand.

Caitriona Jennings came 4th in the World 50km Championships.

The draw for the Liberty Insurance 2016 Camogie Championship was made.

megan connollyMegan Connolly made the NSCAA All American first soccer team.

The Irish Short Course National Championships took place in Lisburn with records falling.

We met Sinead Howick who introduced us to Slalom Skating. The Irish Rugby 7s competed in their first World Series Tournament finishing 12th.

The domestic gaelic football year came to an end with wins for Dunboyne in the Junior All Ireland Club Championship, Milltown in the Intermediate All Ireland Club Final and Donaghmoyne in the Senior Club Final.

It was announced that Ireland will host the World Rugby 7s Olympic Repechage tournament, which will see 16 teams compete for the last remaining place for Rio 2016.  Staying with rugby, Ireland’s tag rugby teams competed in the World Cup in Australia.

Ciara Mageean qualified for Rio in the 1500m. Fellow athlete, Catherine McManus gave us a taste of her life in her November vlog with Nissan Generation Next.

There were two interesting articles about Title IX and the “Heritage of our Heros“.

A very successful conference #LIKEaGIRL was held in England recently on the physical literacy of girls.

oldbelvedereOld Belvedere won the AIL for the third time in a row and Ireland won bronze at the European Cross Country Championships with Fionnula McCormack leading the way in 4th place.

crosscountry

Judy Reynolds finished her year well as she climbed a further two places in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage rankings.

With all sports winding down for the Christmas period, it is awards season with the 11th Irish Times Sportswoman of the Year awards for 2015 was held in the Shelbourne Hotel last Friday afternoon where Briege Corkery and Rena Buckly shared the Irish Times Sportswoman of the year. Catherina McKiernan won the lifetime achievement award.

Sportswomen.ie held an online poll to see who our SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR was and after 7,500 votes the winner by 2 votes was Irish swimmer Fiona Doyle

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At sportswomen.ie we promote, support and report women's sport in Ireland at Senior and International level. We would like this to be your platform so if you would like to share a story, have a rant or just give your opinion on something sports related send it to us. If you are an athlete that would like to promote yourself let us know about yourself. If you have a fundraising event in your club let us know and we will help you to promote it. We are always interested in up and coming athletes and if there is someone inspirational in your community let us know about them. If you have a good idea for the website, let us know too. Contact us at info@sportswomen.ie.
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