Cork camogie clubs coping with physical and mental challenge of lockdown

Cork camogie clubs coping with physical and mental challenge of lockdown

Courcey Rovers’ Ashling Moloney clearing the ball downfield as Keeva McCarthy of St Finbarr’s tries to block down the shot. Picture: Denis Minihane

THESE are unusual times for athletes and managers across Leeside.

With sport locked down due to Covid-19, everyone is trying to stay sharp for when they do return to the training and playing pitches.

We caught up with the camogie community to see how they are coping...

KEVIN HANNON (Courcey Rovers):

How are you and your team preparing and training now?

"As a group, we have realised the importance of our text app as it’s really keeping us connected."

What type of programmes are they following?

"We have Shirley Moloney who has joined the management group this year posting her daily video workouts demonstrating the correct technique and setting a goal for the day. We also have Joey Gallagher who posts his suggestions. 

"Joey has a more holistic approach as he’s a big fan of Zen. He works on the mental side of things. Mike Boland who has been housebound in Carrigtwohill is also on, regularly keeping in touch with the girls.

What are the biggest issues you are facing now to keep players fit and in contact?

"It’s important both physically and mentally that the girls stay in contact with each other. We’re no different to any other team. The girls themselves are posting what exercise they have done and also posting quizzes etc.

"It’s definitely a tough time as by now we should be all out on the field starting our league games. However we all realise the seriousness of the situation and doing our bit by keeping the government guidelines.

"I would like to thank and compliment our girls working in the essential services, especially those in the Healthcare sector. As for the season ahead, nobody knows when it will get going and what format it may take. Hopefully, we will all be in reasonable shape and looking forward to our 8am Saturing morning training again."

KEVIN MURPHY (Inniscarra):

How are you and your team preparing and training now?

"Our club kind of called it early enough in cancelling things before it was called nationally. So, we are at it a few weeks.

"We’ve given the girls schedules to do three times and week and when they’re done either take a photograph or record back in.

"What that does is it drives other players on when they see that their teammates have done it so it’s a collective responsibility.

"In fairness, they’ve been brilliant, very committed and adapting to whatever they can do.

"We’re working off Viber. I know the GDPR people were saying you’re to get off things like WhatsApp and go onto Clubforce and things like that but actually you could not connect the way we’re connecting now with those types of apps. Viber is quite good."

Claudia Keane, Inniscarra, is tackled by Denise Twomey, St Catherine’s goalkeeper. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Claudia Keane, Inniscarra, is tackled by Denise Twomey, St Catherine’s goalkeeper. Picture: Jim Coughlan

What type of programmes are they following?

"The programmes would vary on the physical, skill and strength and conditioning side but it’s not about camogie, it’s about mental health. That’s the key to it. 

"The last two years we did a lot of work on mental wellness. Last year we did work on resilience and that’s the kind of stuff you’re drawing on now because getting through this is different, it’s extremely hard.

"But it’s trying to keep some bit of focus on doing something like ball work or skills off the wall in your house and give them that escape for the 20 or 40 minutes they’re doing it, away from all the social media bad news that’s out there at the minute."

What are the biggest issues you are facing now to keep players fit and in contact?

"Look it’s very hard but it’s all about positive connectivity. That’s what we’re hugely focusing on. These couple of weeks or months, whatever it turns out to be, it’s all about staying connected.

"The girls are connecting themselves; we’re connecting as a group and we’re going to try a virtual quiz soon and see how we get on with getting everyone online. We’ll have fun and have virtual prizes.

"Since Friday it’s a total lockdown. These are the key weeks that we need to ensure we’re connecting.

"Camogie is secondary to this. The isolation is what will get to people so it’s about keeping a smile on their face."

TARA CUNNINGHAM (Glen Rovers):

How are you and your team preparing and training now?

"Our coach Brendan O’Callaghan puts weekly sessions into our WhatsApp group and the girls are throwing up when they’ve their session done. Even early this morning two girls threw up ‘session done’ on the app and it started the others moving then as well.

"Also, Hoggie (Patrick Horgan) is putting up videos of various challenges every day and we’re challenging the girls to see how many they can get so that’s a bit of fun.

"You’d have 30 girls and it’s getting good interaction going. If players are quiet in general, it gets them involved too. But look it’s nothing compared to the intensity you’d have as a group on the field."

Ballincollig's Hananh O'Leary is tackled by Glen Rovers' Lydia Cunningham. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Ballincollig's Hananh O'Leary is tackled by Glen Rovers' Lydia Cunningham. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

What type of programmes are they following?

"They’re doing sprints, shuttle runs, things like that this week rather than just doing 5k runs so it varies weekly. It is good as the videos are coming in and there's a bit of banter going.

"We’re addicted now as we’re looking at the app constantly to see the videos coming in. And it’s good to check in that the girls are doing ok.

"We were just getting into our stride when this happened. The biggest challenge is keeping players motivated and connected but so far so good."

What are the biggest issues you are facing now to keep players fit and in contact?

"We’re so dependant on WhatsApp now. I remember Colm Cooper saying one day in work a few years ago that he’d love to get into the psychology of things like WhatsApp because it’s crazy what’s going on in them.

"It became standard for him in the year he was retiring to get a video of the player he was going to be marking the following day indicating ‘this is the way he turns; this is the foot he mostly kicks from, etc’.

"He said he never grew up with that and that he loved going out to the unknown marking a player he didn’t know much about. Now more than ever with what’s going on today we need WhatsApp to ensure people are ok.

"It’s going to be very hard to know how good things have worked out until we go back. It’ll also depend on what equipment players have at home.

"The onus is on the players to do it. But everyone is on the same boat. It might benefit a lot of them. They might actually do an extra bit."

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