Off The Bench
Off The Bench
About Off The Bench
Off the Bench - a podcast about women in sport but not exclusively for them. Brought to you by OTB Sports.
Coach Sally Batley and mum Deirdre Slevin on how best to support outstanding teenage athletes like Ireland’s top gymnast Emma Slevin, especially when they face challenges. Coaches and parents never make the podium but no athlete gets there without great ones. Their relationship is even more important in individual sports so we asked Sally and Deirdre how they make it work.
To celebrate International Women's Day, Off The Bench spoke to the wonderful Ruth Bolton. Ruth overcame many odds to become a WNBA star and Olympic champion but her biggest battle of all was with domestic abuse. Basketball Ireland and the Jr NBA recently launched a four-part ‘Her Time To Play’ documentary series featuring two-time Olympic gold medallist and two-time WNBA All-Star Ruthie Bolton. The topics discussed in this interview coincide with the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) curriculum that is currently in place. Basketball Ireland is encouraging any SPHE, Transition Year, PE teachers and basketball coaches to check out the Basketball Ireland website for more information on how to avail of the resource.
For the first Off The Bench of 2021, we have a rugby special about postponement of women's Six Nations. Our guest is Alison Donnelly, editor of 'Scrum Queens' and renowned expert on the women's game who juggles that voluntary role with working full-time for Sport England. She argues that separating women's Six Nations from running parallel to the men's could actually be a good thing and the best way to grow it further. Included also is a discussion on how the postponement impacts Ireland's 2021 World Cup hopes, the recent #icare campaign that followed Six Nations postponement and we ask why the women's Six Nations still has no title sponsor. Cliona and Alison also discussed the fear that women's sport may be worst hit by the negative effects of COVID-19.
Cliona Foley speaks to Irish Olympic rower Frances Cryan about her success at Moscow 1980. Frances competed in Russia, where she just missed a place in the single sculls final by 1600th of a second. She was only 20 at the time and actually trained with Steve Redgrave and the Americans in subsequent years yet, despite going to Dublin to get her Olympic uniform in 1984 - she wasn't sent to the Los Angeles Olympics! The decision on Los Angeles was made only six weeks beforehand and made because those choosing 'didn't think she'd make the final'. It soured her relationship with the sport and she quit some years later but she is still very passionate about rowing and the Olympics. Give it a listen!
On Off The Bench this week, Connacht Rugby president Ann Heneghan joins Cliona Foley to discuss her role and her hopes for the province. Heneghan is the first female president of a provincial rugby body, making history in the sport, and Cliona looks into all manner of the sport - it is well worth your time. Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered! Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.
We are joined this week by rugby player Sorcha MacLaimhin, who tells us why her support group 'Mama Loves Sport' is so badly needed by sporty mums. Sorcha discusses why 'snapping back' - the desire to get back to a pre-pregnancy body shape - is a misplaced pressure on new mothers, and the information vacuum that sporty mums face going back to sport. She also talks about why it is much harder for ordinary mums to get back into sport than professionals like Serena and Jessica Ennis. Is post-maternity advice about returning to ‘exercise’ but rarely geared towards getting back into competitive sport? Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered! Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.
Cliona Foley is joined by Paula Doran of Athlone Town, one of two new teams in the Women's National League (WNL). Athlone Town is the oldest town in League of Ireland, now 133 years old but this is the first season they have had a women's team in the WNL. Paula pent five years playing soccer in America, and is only back in this season. She is one of only 17 players in this year's WNL who took part in inaugural season 10 years ago.
Former Killester and Belfast Rockets basketball player Mimi Troy joins Cliona Foley this week on Off The Bench. Mimi went to America on scholarship, but opted not to take a sports one because her mother was diagnosed with cancer just before she left. When she returned in 2016, Mimi's mother took a very bad turn and was particularly bad before the 2017 Cup finals, where Mimi was playing for Belfast Rockets in Division 1. Mimi was literally checking her watch during the final to check if her mum was alive. She passed away two weeks later and Mimi hasn't played basketball since. Her own identity, and the family's, was so tied to basketball and sport that she just couldn't face it. Mimi tells the story of her own identity as a young, mixed-race woman in Ireland, including some horrifying incidents of racism - including one recently. Mimi still hasn't gone back to basketball but, thanks to the 20x20 movement, has gone back to training and keeping fit and is a really strong advocate for 20x20's new campaign 'No Proving - Just Moving.' Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered! Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.
Off The Bench speaks to WGPA chairperson Maria Kinsella on return to play, as she exclusively reveals 32% of polled players do not want to return to play because of health fears. Cliona Foley discusses a range of topics with Maria, among which: 'Disappointing' engagement with the LGFA The findings of polling of their members Have women's associations missed a trick not attempting to start before men's sport resumes? Potential damage to the women's inter-county game Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered! Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.
On Off The Bench this week, Cliona Foley speaks to Republic of Ireland star Denise O'Sullivan, on the line from North Carolina. Denise will be among the first Irish footballers to return to competition in late June, and is already back in restricted training with the North Carolina Courage. The Courage are the reigning two in-a-row American NWSL champions. The NWSL has scrapped its usual league for 2020 but is running a tournament instead - the NWSL Challenge Cup - and is flying all the teams out to Utah where they will be kept apart in a few hotels and play in an empty stadium! We ask Denise about how COVID-19 has affected her personally and professionally, as well as her experience living in America in the aftermath of George Floyd's death and the Black Lives Matter protests.
Off The Bench this week is joined by Meathwoman Ruth Nugent, a recent winner of Ireland's Class 2 Rallysprint series! Ruth is also an active mountain biker and BMX rider, despite suffering from Crohn's Disease, and joins Cliona Foley to discuss her career.
As Irish golf clubs re-open, Leona Maguire tells Off The Bench about lock-down in Cavan, her ultra-competitive family and how her professional life could change when the LPGA resumes. Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.
Irish rower Aifric Keogh (@aifricsk) joined Cliona Foley to discuss her career, her future and how she is coping in lockdown! Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.
Off The Bench is back this week with Emma Duffy of The 42 and Newstalk's Aisling O'Reilly. Cliona Foley presents the latest in Off The Bench's panels, where we look at the potential benefits of women's sports going professional and what we can do to improve conditions for teams around the country. We also look at the incredible story of Bellator MMA's Leah McCourt, who took drastic measures to make weight in a Dublin event last week. We look at our Heroes of the Week and ahead to the Six Nations actions, postponements notwithstanding! Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.
Off The Bench is back with journalist Kate O'Halloran looking at AFLW down under in Australia! With 18 Irish players in the 2020 AFLW we talk to Australian journalist Kate O'Halloran about the tough issues still facing women's 'footy'! Off The Bench is available every fortnight from Off The Ball, where we look at all aspects of women's sport, and would love feedback from all ages and sexes! Get us on @offtheball on Twitter with your comments, or email email@example.com!
Tipperary footballer Aishling Moloney, Dublin’s Carla Rowe and LGFA National Development Officer Lyn Savage join Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh in studio for a special panel on Ladies Football. Brought to you by LIDL, supporting the LGFA and the work done at grassroots in Ladies Football. #SeriousSupport
Cliona Foley is joined by former Mayo footballer Fiona McHale, and coaching specialist Liam Moggan, to discuss the emergence of women in coaching. Brought to you by LIDL, supporting the LGFA and the work done at grassroots in Ladies Football #SeriousSupport
In episode 1 of Keane and Mageean Unleashed, Paralympic swimmer and Sky Sports scholar Ellen Keane and Olympic athlete Ciara Mageean begin their countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The pair also chat to 2000 Olympic silver medallist Sonia O’Sullivan and 2018 world boxing champion Kellie Harrington. @LIDL_Ireland #SeriousSupport