Women in Sports May Update

Women in Sports May Update

As we embrace the ability to be outside and enjoy the longer days, we are thrilled to celebrate the highlights from this month in Northern Ireland. This monthly update is packed with sporting stories, upcoming events, and notable achievements from our local athletes and teams.

With Olympic trials for swimming this month, we followed along as Danielle Hill (Larne) qualified in the 100m Backstroke and 50m Freestyle. Additionally, it was great to see multiple Ulster athletes win events and set records, including Grace Davidson, Lottie Cullen, Victoria Catterson, and Ellie McCartney. New names to the list of Ulster women achievers include Emma Reid (50m Butterfly), Eva Hand (800m Freestyle, Bangor), and Amelia Kane (400 FR, Ards). Many swam personal best times, and we can’t wait to continue watching the results from the Europeans and the Olympics!

In May, it was confirmed that Rachael Darragh has been selected to represent Ireland at the Olympics in badminton. She will be the first Commonwealth Games badminton athlete to go to the Games. Following in her aunt Chloe Magee’s footsteps, we are excited to watch her play. Congratulations, Rachael!

In an effort to qualify for the Olympics, Judith MacCombe and her guide Eimear took first place in the Para Cup Samarkand, earning valuable points for Olympic qualification. Now ranking 6th, Judith is well on her way to qualifying. Her sister, Chloe will join her to compete again on the first of June. Chloe is currently ranked 4th, so exciting things are to come from these two! Congrats to Judith and Eimear on the great race!

Armagh beat Donegal in the Ulster Ladies Senior Football Championship Final. Armagh has had a strong season, and this win will hopefully lead them into another strong All-Ireland Series as well. On the same Sunday as Armagh’s win at the senior level, Down played Monaghan at the intermediate level for the TG4 Ulster Intermediate Final, with Down winning by a final score of 2-9 to 0-14. Lauren McConville was named LGFA Player of the Month for April; she was crucial in helping Armagh claim the Division 1 National League for the first time last month.

Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) broke her own Irish and Northern Irish record in the 800m, becoming the first woman to go under 1:59 with a time of 1:58.51. Mageean also won the 1500m with a time of 4:01.98 at the Golden Spike Meeting in Ostrava. Pole vaulter Ellie McCartney (City of Lisburn) continued her strong season with a second-place finish, achieving a final height of 4.30m in Germany. Kate O’Connor kicked off her season this month with a second-place finish at the Multistars World Combined Events Tour, increasing her chances to qualify for the European Championships and the Olympic Games. Elsewhere, Lauren Roy (City of Lisburn) clocked 11.71 in the 100m while competing in the US, and Hannah Irwin won the Newport 10k with a time of 32:57. Keep up the performances!

The Northern Irish women’s team is preparing for their next match in the Euro Qualifiers against Portugal on Friday, the 31st. In other news for the women’s team, Marissa Callaghan has decided to step down as captain after 8 years. (READ MORE). Additionally, the BBC wrote a great article on Rachel Furness, detailing her mental health struggles and her journey back into football (read more). Writing around the experience of being an athlete is critical in creating role models for our young girls.

Rounding out the May newsletter, Northern Ireland became the second country to provide free period products. Follow the link to find out more! Additionally, we are hosting a Social Sport Day to highlight all the different sports in Northern Ireland that women can get involved in. Happy June!