Thursday, January 22, 2015

Periods and sport for women

Periods, menstruation, time of the month - all words that male trainers mostly cringe at. But it is something we have to deal with, and yes it does happen every month. 

Heather Watson PIC Carlos Barria via Guardian
I read a fascinating article last night about this, and the different ways sportswomen deal with their periods. Titled 'Menstruation, the last sporting taboo'  it starts with Heather Watson. You may have heard the tennis player interviewed this week when she partially blamed her period for being knocked out of the Australian Open.

Initially my reaction was 'oh no, don't be that honest' and then I laughed at myself. If women like Watson never talk about this, we'll never be able find a way to balance all this out.

And it does affect us. I finally worked out through a painful trial and error process that sparring in my sport of MuayThai was just not a good idea for the first two days of bleeding. Bag-work and extra long runs were no problem but nothing complicated thank you. 

Just once I had to fight on those days, and it was, well let's just say it was not pretty. I wasn't tired but absolutely zero coordination, and my pain tolerance was way way too low for getting hit that hard.The kindest thing you could say about that fight was that I didn't get knocked-out! 

Who knows how much of this is mental? I'd like to think I was up for it, there was nothing to do  about the date, it was a big show and could not be turned down without a raft of explanations. Or so I thought. 

In the article, they talk about hockey players taking the pill as a team so they coordinate their periods. Maybe someday we can just say - hey, that week is not good for me. 

How do you deal with your periods and your sport?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This Girl Can - a sports campaign that really works

Finally - a get women into sport campaign that really should work. The 'This Girl Can' video, posters and all-round inspiration are from Sport England. 

Their mission statement? "This Girl Can celebrates the active women everywhere who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get."

Sport England cite research showing 2m fewer women work out than men but three quarters of the women surveyed want to be more active. So instead of focusing just on elite athletes - scary to many women, this campaign uses Zumba, jogging, cycling and jigging - lots of flesh jigging about mixed in with huge amounts of laughter.

Every time the advert pops up on TV (in Ireland we watch British channels as often as our homegrown ones) it brings a huge smile on my face. This should work. 

You can follow them on Twitter at @ThisGirlCanUK or just use find #thisgirlcan

And that advert? Watch and be inspired:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Stephanie Roche's amazing goal in Lego

Yes, it had to happen. Or maybe not, but it has. As the focus grows on FIFA's goal of the year contest, Irish soccer player Stephanie Roche's goal and the other two entries have been immortalised in Lego.

You can still vote for Roche here -early and often as they say. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Champion driver Danielle Murphy drifting to success

This appeared in the Irish Mail on Sunday recently - Irish drifter Danielle Murphy. If you want to know more, Murphy's Twitter handle is: @Drift_Queen1

(Not my byline btw)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Together from Cedar Crest's basketball team

American college Cedar Crest sent me this 'get up and play' video this week - their women's basketball doing a version of the Nike 'Together - Lebron James clip. 

Remember chocolate and cake is great but you'll feel better after some fresh air. 

Thanks Josh Tehonica for sending this to me. Great motto too for the college - Bold Education, Bold Women Bold Futures. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!
Santa Dash in Galway via FLICKR

Thank you all so much for reading and supporting my efforts to promote women in sport this year! 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, or a Happy Holiday if you are not that way inclined.

Here's to a few days of eating and relaxing with the people we love - and back to the sports grindstone with even more energy in January. Best way to beat the winter blues is to get out there and make endorphins ... but you know that already, don't you?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Awakening MuayThai Awards 2014

This is the time of year for voting in as many polls as you have time to fit in. Awakening is a great supporter of women's fighting and this is a good chance to see who they rate. 

You can vote on Best Fighter, Best Newcomner, Best Photographer and on a wider scale Best Promoter and a few other areas of our sport that we don't always remember to appreciate. It's a fairly international field so you should know at least a handful of people from each section.

I did my bit this morning. You can vote here in the MuayThai Awards 2014
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