Kilkenny coach Ann Downey features in new film about trials and triumphs of Irish women in sport
KILKENNY camogie legend Ann Downey features in a new documentary that explores the trials and triumphs of women in sport in Ireland.
Ann, currently in her fourth year in charge of the Cats, certainly has experience of both. She won 12 All-Ireland senior medals as a player and led Kilkenny to O’Duffy Cup glory in her first year in charge in 2016.
In 2017 and 2018, she again led the Cats back to Croke Park for the showpiece but they fell agonisingly short to Cork on both occasions.
In a new three-part series for TG4, Ann and the presenter – former Slaughtneil camogie captain Aoife Ní Chaiside – will talk about why so few women have followed in her footsteps and become managers and officials in sport.
The documentary was shot as Aoife was on her way to winning her third All-Ireland consecutive club camogie championship and her venture beyond the Gaelic games, travelling throughout Ireland to meet intrepid sportswomen from a wide range of sports, each one pouring her heart and soul into her sport.
She speaks to her friend, Katie Mullan, captain of the Irish Hockey team that won silver at the Hockey World Cup in 2018, about the friends she has made through the game.
Aoife also meets Rena Buckley, ladies’ football and camogie All-Star who won a record 18 All-Ireland medals, along with sprinter Patience Jumbo Gula, discus thrower Niamh McCarthy and world champion handballer, Aisling Reilly, and discusses the big issues – disability, image and racism in sport. Fearless Aoife also sets herself a new challenge, to try out MMA, with champion Leah McCourt (pictured below).
Mná Spóirt: Croí is Anam, is broadcast on TG4 on Thursday, April 18 at 9.30pm.