CORK camogie star Amy O’Connor is the overall winner of the Echo Women in Sport Awards for 2022 and she collected her prize at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
This follows a landmark season that saw her win the Munster Senior Camogie Championship and the Cork Senior Camogie Championship for the second year in a row with Seandún.
O’Connor was instrumental in both victories as she scored ten points in the provincial decider and 2-8 in the Cork final against Sarsfieid at Castle Road in Mahon. She was recently made the Cork senior camogie captain for 2023, and she said Thursday night’s award was the perfect way to kick off the new season.
“It’s a lovely way to start the year, I’m in total shock and delighted to start the year on a high,” she explained. “I’m in a state of shock. I didn’t expect to win when I saw the calibre of people who were also nominated.”
O’Connor beat a number of Irish, European, and world champions to the prestigious award. The trophy will now go into her collection alongside four All-Ireland medals, six Munster titles, and an All-Star. Thinking about all of this, O’Connor prefers to see camogie as a game that she loves as opposed to a way to win trophies and medals.
I just love playing, obviously I do play to win, but I genuinely enjoy playing and every minute I do have playing.
“While it can it be tough at times, it is not something I take for granted as it won’t be around forever. I feel like I blinked and I was this age!”
O’Connor previous life in association football was also mentioned and people were told about her performances at the 2014 U19 European Championships. She starred for an Irish team that reached the semi-finals, and the majority of that squad are now getting ready to compete at their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s on right at the peak of our season, I might have tried to go if it was on at a different time of year,” she explained.
“It’s brilliant for them. I think they can do quite well. It’ll be great to see the likes of Denise (O’Sullivan), Megan (Connolly), Katie (McCabe), and all of those people that I would have known growing up and playing with. I’m looking forward to it and hopefully they can do well.
Denise is about two or three years older than me and I’ve known her since I was very young. It’ll be brilliant to see her do well because I know she will do well at the World Cup.”
While she gets up early in the summer to catch Ireland’s games in Australia, O’Connor will be in the middle of her first season as the captain of Cork’s senior camogie team. She says that the new role adds no pressure as it is a team sport with shared responsibility.
“We play a team game, it’s actually a squad game so ultimately my role at the end of the year, if we win something, is to collect it on behalf of the team. I won’t be feeling any additional pressure or anything,” she said.