For many Irish athletes lack of funding is an issue. The costs of living, training and competitions aren't easy to meet and they regularly find themselves living hand to mouth.
Emerging from this is the new trend of crowd-funding with athletes posting their profiles on sites like www.pledgesports.org. and www.ntrai.com. People can donate online directly to athletes like Barry Murphy, Jessie and Tommy Barr and John Coghlan as they bid to for success in their chosen sports careers.
Before the Irish Universities intervarsity athletics championships earlier this month, crowd-funding in Ireland went a step further when the Irish athletics community secured funding for live streamed coverage of their event through online donations.
The athletes wanted the event streamed after the success of the AAI games the previous week but were unable to attract a sponsor for such a small event. Through nTrai – a crowd-funding website – they managed to gather the €1,800 required in just two days. The athletes promoted the event via social media and appealed to their friends and family to donate by posting videos on their social networking pages. It was a very successful venture; Aer TV did the streaming while the Jumping The Gun team provided the commentary. A good news story.
* * * * *
Although situated outside the county border (in New Ross), Good Counsel College has over the years acted as a feeder school to many Kilkenny clubs and county teams.
Senior All-Ireland medalists such as Christy Heffernan, Pat Kavanagh, Willie O'Connor, Eddie O'Connor, Michael Phelan, Kieran Joyce, Michael Grace, Sean Cummins and Walter Walsh are all past pupils of the school. Many past pupils have also won minor, under 21 and intermediate titles with Kilkenny.
Kilkenny hurling historian Dermot Kavanagh, author of No 3: The Story of a Kilkenny Jersey, has pointed out to From the Stands that Rower-Inistioge's triumph in the All-Ireland intermediate hurling final must surely have brought a sense of great satisfaction to Good Counsel.
Almost incredibly, from the Kilkenny-based club's panel of 40 players, 36 are past pupils of Good Counsel, with one of the starting team a present-day Leaving Certificate student. This must surely constitute a record of some kind.
* * * * *
For most men and women who play sports, representing Ireland at an Olympic Games is a pipe dream. So when the opportunity arises to do so it's easy to understand why it's grabbed with both hands, even if it means switching to a new sport.
A scan through the Ireland women's rugby sevens squad throws up a few familiar names, women who have previously played at the top level of other sports.
Hockey players Aisling Naughton and Elaine Ryan along with Westmeath footballer Laura Walsh and Clare camogie player Susan Vaughan have all made the move to Sevens in the hope of qualifying for a spot at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
They came through talent identification days and are currently travelling around the world competing in the Sevens World Series.
* * * * *
NEW Irish management duo, Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane, are getting off on the right foot with League of Ireland fans by including the President's Cup final on Sunday, March 2, on their schedule.
The attractive fixture, which features league champions St Patrick's Athletic and FAI Cup holders Sligo Rovers, will have a 4.0 kick-off at Richmond Park. It offers O'Neill, in town for the Serbia friendly, the chance to run the rule over Keith Fahey on his return to football.
* * * * *
As Liverpool continue to perform consistently, some of their former players are taking full advantage of the team's popularity. On Thursday, Jamie Carragher and Didi Hamann will be in the Olympia Theatre to talk about their careers and for the small price of €90 fans will get to watch the show and meet the Liverpool legends.
However, for those who are not interested in meeting and greeting, ticket prices for the show alone start at €20. Value?
Sunday Indo Sport