Women in Sport Update- February

Women in Sport Update- February

Writing February’s Women in Sport Update is incredibly exciting as the list of women’s achievements continue to grow. With so much to cover, determining where to begin posed a challenge. Para-Olympian Katie Marrow’s selection for the GB wheelchair basketball team in the Osaka Cup marked a significant highlight. The team’s outstanding performance led them to victory, showcasing Katie’s return to the international stage with great enthusiasm.

Internationally, Amy Hunter earned recognition as the ICC’s player of the month for January due to her performance against Zimbabwe. Amy’s contributions to the Irish Women’s Cricket Team have elevated her to the top 20 rankings for T20 players. Additionally, Orla Prendergast was named women’s International Player of the Year for 2023 at the Business Plus Irish Cricket Awards in Dublin. This team continues to look strong this year and it is exciting to see young players add to the team dynamics.

In Athletics, Ireland still continues to be a strong contender as we see athletes compete in the American Indoor Track Season, at the Millrose Games in New York City. Finn Valley’s Roisin Flanagen secured 11th place in the 2-mile event, clocking in at 9:36.70, while Irish Runner Rhasidat Adeleke broke her own Irish record in the 300m race. Roisin was also added to the Indoor Track Team lineup for Glasglow after an additional spot had become available. Locally, at the NI & Ulster Senior Cross Country Champs, Emily Haggard Kearney of North Belfast Harriers clinched the individual title, contributing to her club’s overall victory.

Queen’s University celebrated a triumph by claiming the Inaugural Legacy Ulster Women’s Premier League title with a victory against the Belfast Harlequins. This win, achieved with two games remaining, marks their first championship since the 19/20 season.

Sport NI has commenced announcing their SportMaker awards for 2023, honouring outstanding coaches and volunteers in Northern Ireland. Sabrina Higgins, Head coach of girls’ Rugby, received the Children’s Coach of the Year award, while Jenny Bell, Girls rugby coach at Limavady CRFHC, was recognized as the Young Coach of the Year. Orla Donnelly, an Ulster Camogie official, was named Young Technical Official of the year, emphasizing the diverse roles women play in sports beyond just athletes.

Swimming also had a successful month on the road to Paris, with Ireland’s Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay securing a quota spot for Paris 2024 based on their performance at the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. Notably, Ireland’s relay team was able to qualify because Mona McSharry and Ellen Walshe had already achieved Olympic Qualification Times, marking the country’s first female relay at an Olympic Games since 1972. Ulster’s Victoria Catterson and Danielle Hill swam on the relay in Japan. Other swims include Victoria Catterson finishing 19th overall in the 200m Free, breaking into the top 20 for the first time, and the women’s team finishing 10th in the 4x100m Free Relay. Additionally, Daniel Wiffen and Mona McSharry achieved commendable results in their respective events, with Daniel becoming the first Irish/Northern Irish swimmer to win an event at the World Championship.

The Northern Irish Senior Women (IFA) faced Montenegro both at home and away in a crucial match to maintain their standing in the UEFA B League. They emerged victorious in Montenegro and secured a tie at home in Windsor Park, resulting in a 3-1 aggregate score in their favour.

The month also featured the Fr. Meaghair cup final, where University Ulster Jordanstown and Queen’s University Belfast competed, with Queen’s emerging as the winners. In LGFA Lidl National League Fixtures, various matchups will take place this weekend with Ulster Teams playing: Armagh vs Kerry (Div 1), Donegal vs Tyrone (Div 2), Monaghan vs Cavan (Div 2), Antrim vs Sligo (Div 3), and Offaly vs Down (Div 3).

The Women’s 10k is back for another year and is now open for registration, scheduled for Sunday, June 23rd. The Moy Park Belfast City Women’s 10K, set in the Titanic Quarter, offers participants an opportunity to engage in a fun and supportive event to be ran with friends and family. With a flat course suitable for both beginners and experienced runners, the event promises an exciting experience for all.