February Sports Update

February Sports Update

This month we celebrate beginnings and anniversaries. There are many ways that we celebrate accomplishment in sports, whether is it those who still play, or those who work behind the scenes to continue to promote women in sports.

On February 14th, the Irish women’s rugby team celebrated 30 years. They played their first international match against Scotland on February 14th, 1993. The realization that many of the sports that we love are still relatively new for women to be able to play at the international level and even newer to being paid for it is great to celebrate those trailblazers who fought for the sport on the women’s side. HerSport wrote a longer piece about the anniversary here.

Wicketkeeper-batter Amy Hunter (pic: ICC Media)

After the U19 T20 world cup finished the Irish Women made it to the Super Six being led by Captain Amy Hunter and the squad had four other Northern Irish players- Jenni Jackson (Eglinton CC), Zara Craig (Eglinton CC), Kia McCartney (Coleraine), and Abbi Harrison (Waringstown). The T20 World Cup started last weekend with Ireland’s first game being against England. It was a hard game with the Irish Squad losing. The team played against Pakistan on the 15th with a hard loss. With the average age of the team being 24 years old, this young team should be able to grow together. The T20 match group consists of matches against West Indies, India, and Pakistan. Players Amy Hunter and Cara Murray (Waringstown CC) are on the Cricket Irelands Squad and come from Northern Irish Clubs. Cara Murray also celebrated her 50th cap while at the World Cup.

T20 World Cup (Group Stage)
• 13 February: Ireland Women v England Women (Paarl)
• 15 February: Ireland Women v Pakistan Women (Cape Town)
• 17 February: Ireland Women v West Indies Women (Cape Town)
• 20 February: Ireland Women v India Women (Port Elizabeth)

Over the weekend of the 10th, Ulster University Magee Camogie Team won against ATU Sligo in the Inaugural Ashling Murphy cup ending the game with a score of 2-4 to 0-7. Queen’s University Team lost in the final of the Fr. Meaghair Cup to DUC with the final score being 1-8 to 0-9. Congratulations to both teams on their final games.

The Women’s Sports Trust came out with their Women’s Sports viewership report which reviled that women sports had an average viewing of 8 hours and 44 min, which is an all-time high. 40.1 million people watched women’s sports in the UK in 2022! It is great to see a continued increase in professional sports viewership with a win like Lionesses in the Euros and the qualification of the Irish women’s team for the World Cup this summer. Additionally, PWC released their global sports survey and women’s sports are predicted to make a 15% increase in the market. This shows promise for the growth in opportunity for young women and girls to keep playing the sport they love. Read both reports in full: WST and PWC.

If you have been itching to watch live sport, then mark the calendar for next week as Netball U17 European Championships comes to the Antrim Forum. The four-day event (23rd-26th) will see 10 countries compete across the competitions, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and UAE in the Championship event and Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, and Northern Ireland Development in the Challenge section. This event will be an exciting time to support the Warriors here at home! Buy tickets here!

Beyond watching sports, the Female Sports Forum wants to continue to promote getting active, fit and sporty. The Belfast City Marathon has the perfect event to do so! They have just announced Women’s Only 10K for the 18th of June! They aim for this event to be a space for women to walk, jog, or run! Seems like a great event to do with friends or to train for as a fun event for all women! Sign up today to get the early bird discount here!

The Female Sports Forum is excited to meet at the end of the month to have discussions about events and strategy for the coming year! As always if you have a project or program you would like to discuss please feel free to reach out to us via email at [email protected].