IT’S fair to say that 19-year-old Annaliese Murphy meets the definition of an ‘all-rounder’.
As well as being a full time Arts student at University College Cork, where she is studying Irish and Spanish, Annaliese has excelled in both the sporting and artistic arenas.
Annaliese, of Sallybrook, Glanmire, took part in the European Championships held in Kosovo last year, where she played as part of the Irish Under 20 Division B Women’s Basketball team.
The team secured a bronze medal when they beat Great Britain in the third-place playoffs.
Annaliese was also part of the 2017 Irish under 18 Division B Women’s Basketball team who won the silver medal in the 2017 European Championships and, as a consequence, were promoted to Division A.
Annaliese was encouraged to play basketball by her father, Timmy, who is a coach for Glanmire Basketball.
She said: “We [the team] were thrilled with our performance in Kosovo. After 2017, we wanted to try to win another medal for Ireland. We’ve all been playing basketball together for many years. We’re like a family. The whole team gets on so well. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to play basketball for Ireland with the other girls on the team.”
Annaliese also played with the Under 21 Cork Gaelic football team that beat Kerry in the Munster LGFA U21 football final last summer.
Late last year, she was also personally nominated in two categories at Glanmire Chamber of Commerce, Business and Community Awards. She was nominated for Glanmire Ambassador of the Year Award and won that award. She was personally nominated for the sport award (basketball) alongside the Glanmire Ladies’ Junior football team, with whom she plays, and the football team won the sports award.
As well as competing in sport at such a high level, Annaliese has excelled as a performing arts student. She has been a student at CADA Performing Arts since she was three years old. Her mother, Caroline, is involved with CADA and a huge supporter of the arts.
Annaliese’s older sister, Kelly-Anne, is a dance teacher at CADA. Annaliese has taken part in many pantos and productions. Last year she earned high distinctions in both her LAMDA Gold medal in acting and her bronze medal in Verse and Prose.
Annaliese explained that simply ‘giving things a go’ resulted in her pursuing a range of extra- curricular activities.
“I try to take part in everything. I’ll always try new things to see if I will enjoy it. When I was growing up, I tried lots of different activities and gave everything a fair chance.”
She is equally dedicated to both sport and the arts and she “could never pick one over the other. Some nights, I’ll go straight from basketball training to CADA.”
Her team-mates on the court and on the pitch, along with the drama and dance students she rehearses with, motivate Annaliese to give her all at training and at rehearsals.
“I don’t want to leave my team down and I don’t want to leave my class [at CADA] down, so I always make a huge effort to attend training sessions and rehearsals. Even if I am injured or sick and can’t take part, I’ll always go down and watch training or rehearsals because then, at least if I am watching, I’ll know what is going on.”
There are proven benefits to youngsters when they participate in extra-curricular activities. It helps boost their confidence, helps concentration and teaches them a range of life-skills that they can use in their adult lives. By taking part in a variety of sporting and artistic activities, Annaliese has learnt so many different things.
“At drama at CADA, I’ve learned about the importance of being able to speak well, projecting your voice, saying what you feel. I’ve learned that you can express yourself in so many ways, especially through dance. With basketball and football, it’s all about teamwork. One person isn’t going to win a game for you. It’s a team effort. You need to help each other.”
Annaliese hopes to become a secondary school teacher once she has completed her studies at University College Cork. As well as playing sport and being a drama and dance student, she has moved into the roles of coaching and being a classroom assistant.
Last summer, she coached youngsters, aged 12 to 17 at the National Basketball Camp in Gormonstown, County Meath. She also works as a classroom assistant at CADA and has been supported in her endeavours by Catherine Mahon Buckley, principal at CADA.
Annaliese wants to continue in both the sporting and artistic arenas because she “wants to become a secondary school teacher and I feel that these activities will help me become a better secondary school teacher because I am involved in coaching and assisting in dance and drama classes.”
She stressed the importance of extra-curricular activities for children by saying: “Activities in sport and the arts give [young people] a break from school and study. Even just going for a walk or a run gives you a break from sitting and writing.
“Whether a child does football, camogie, dance, or drama, it gives them a break and allows them to express themselves, especially via dance and drama.”
Annaliese encourages others, especially young people, to get involved in activities that could become life-long hobbies.
“Just give things a go, even if you are unsure. You should always give things a go because you might discover something that becomes one of your favourite things to do. You should always try.
“You shouldn’t judge before trying an activity or a sport out. You have to take a risk. You might find something that you will love doing for the rest of your life.
“Even if you are shy, you should go along. You will make friends because the other people are probably interested in the same things that you are. Also, other people there will be new too and won’t know anyone, so you’ll make friends.”