My Weekend: My favourite place is around the fire pit with family and friends... or myself!

Conor Twomey is the head coach at Bishopstown Lawn Tennis Club
My Weekend: My favourite place is around the fire pit with family and friends... or myself!

Conor Twomey, Head Coach at Bishopstown Lawn Tennis Club.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m married to Audrey and I have four boys aged 15 down to five. We have a really busy house but it’s great fun.

I’m from Bishopstown in Cork and I’m the head coach in Bishopstown Tennis Club and founder of Coaching Movement and On the Rise Performance Academy. My job is very diverse and I work with recreational players all the way up to performance level. I also deliver modules for the national learning network and rehab.

I love my job and meeting new people.

Bishopstown Lawn Tennis Club was established in 1979 and is one of Cork’s leading tennis clubs. With only two tennis courts back when they started 37 years ago on Murphy’s Farm, the club now has six state-of-the-art courts with floodlights. The club has gone from strength to strength over the years and we have players from all over Munster. We always welcome new members and our junior coaching classes are in very high demand.

At the tennis club we want to become a major part of the community and make tennis available for all. We have big plans. Currently we have a very successful Junior program “On The Rise” where we accommodate all children of all ages and all levels. We will take your little ones and turn them into players that can comfortably compete at a National level.

It took me years to grow the junior program to what it is today — probably one of the most successful programmes in Ireland. We also have a very successful adult group with players at all levels from beginners up.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

My ideal way to spend Friday evening is with my feet up and rest as Friday is one of the longest days of the week in the club catering for the junior and senior coaching programmes. We also run cardio tennis on Fridays. By the end of the day I’m pretty much hanging on by a thread. However, it is lovely to just relax on a Friday night. I love catching up with the family on how everyone’s week was.

Lie ins or up with the lark…
which is it for you?

With four kids I don’t have a choice. Up with the lark. Actually I’m up before the lark I’d say. I love getting up early however and getting a good start on the day.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

As you can imagine the tennis club is very busy at the weekend so my weekend is all about work. Myself and a colleague run ‘On the Rise’ which caters for a selection of the top juniors players in Munster and this has been a huge success. At the weekend I spend a lot of time at the tennis club. This could be for coaching or a game of tennis myself. When the weather is good there’s no place like it. It is heartwarming to see the courts so busy at the weekends with everyone getting out on the courts and having so much fun.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

If money was no object it would be somewhere warm with good food and of course it would be with my wife. I love New Zealand so anywhere in New Zealand in summer. It is the best place I have ever visited. It really is heaven on earth.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

I must say my favourite place is my back garden with the fire pit lighting and music playing. As a family we started doing this over lockdown and haven’t missed a night in six months. We just love it! And we are all together which makes it so special. It is a total switch off from the busy week. Sometimes I could be on my own or with family and friends. I just love it.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Yes I do. I like a mix of both. There is only one rule in our house — if you mention Covid or politics and don’t bring firewood, you are barred. We love the fire and sitting around chatting.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

My hobby for my sins is following Cork City Football Club. They are the love of my life. Some of my highest highs and lowest lows have come from following them but they are part of my culture and in my blood. I really miss getting down to Turner’s Cross to support them but I know the time will come again when we can do that. For me pre-Covid heading to a match was a great way to spend an evening. I just love it. City till I die.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter, do you have a signature dish?

I like both but my signature dish would be monkfish curry or black pudding on toast with this plum sauce I make.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork – where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Il Padrino is by far my favourite restaurant. In my opinion it just can’t be beaten for freshness and quality. Lunch is usually the same and I never eat breakfast. I started skipping breakfast and my energy levels are through the roof. This is another consequence of lockdown. I do love going out for a nice meal in town with my wife. It is so special.

Sunday night comes around too fast… how do you normally spend it?

Again Sunday night is usually a fire outside if weather permits. I love having all the family together hanging out on a Sunday. I am usually getting mocked by my kids for being old and grey.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

I don’t have or need an alarm clock. I usually get up at about 5am or 5.30am to beat the mayhem and get a good start on the day.

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