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Let’s Talk Food & Sport with… Rena Buckley

Rena Buckley

Rena Buckley, the first player aiming to captain an All-Ireland team to both camogie and ladies gaelic football honours. This year the Iniscarra player has the honour of captaining the Cork Senior Camogie team and after years of juggling a dual career she has decided to focus on one code this year and lead the county camogie team. No stranger to All-Ireland finals, a trip to Croke Park in September has become more than just a habit with 17 All-Ireland senior medals to her name. You would be forgiven to think that Rena is a full-time athlete but during the day she runs her own Physiotherapy clinic in Macroom, Co. Cork wher

Tell us about your first or favourite sporting memory?

My first sporting memory is playing a blitz amongst ourselves in my primary school Berrings. I had a chance of a goal but passed it off to a boy who was three classes ahead of me and he missed it. My brother was on my team and gave out to me when I came home for passing the ball when I was in the better position. A big lesson for me!

What advice would you give to a young aspiring athlete in your sport?

Focus on training when you are at training, do your best and enjoy it. Try and lead a healthy life outside of training too.

Cork’s Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley

As a Physiotherapist you encounter people on a daily basis dealing with injury and time out from work, sport and normal life. What advice would you give to someone in this situation or just dealing with a tough time in life?

I would try to get the person to have perspective on the injury, particularly sports injuries. Sport is hugely important in my life and usually in the life of every athlete. But at the end of the day it is sport. It’s something to enjoy. I encourage everyone to do their best with their rehabilitation. That’s all anyone can do. If an injury takes time, it takes time. Just do your very best to help yourself to be fit and healthy and try to be content with that.

What emphasis do you put on food and diet relating to your performance or do you think food and diet has any importance for your performance?

I put a big emphasis on the type of food and the timing of food around training and matches. Outside of sport, I just try to eat a balanced and varied diet daily.


How do you find the time to plan and prepare meals or do you eat out every day whilst juggling a Physiotherapy career and clinic and playing intercounty camogie and up until recently a dual camogie and ladies football career?

I live at home so my parents are a huge help to me in preparing my food. If it wasn’t for them my diet would not be as good as it is. Eating good food takes time to prepare but it is worth the effort.

Give us some insight into your typical match day food?

On match day I would have porridge with fruit and seeds, an egg and a pint of water for breakfast. Then I’d have some chicken with vegetables and some potato or rice three hours before the match. At half-time before going out for the second half I try have something small to eat for energy. Protein and carbohydrates after the match are always important.


What is your favourite type of food to eat or dish to cook?

Being honest if dinner isn’t made for me I usually go out for dinner. At home I mainly prepare salads for myself.

What are your favourite places to eat out in Ireland?

I usually treat myself to dinner out once a week and vary it up as much as possible. My favourite treat at Christmas is to go for dinner in Ballymaloe House. I just love the food and the setting.

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