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The Pro Sports Magazine June 2014

Kelly Holmes Bianca Walkden; Lara Prior-Palmer, Sally Conway, Marcelle Manson, Anna Turney, Lydia Hall, Méabh De Búrca Exclusive Interviews & Articles

SIM Unsung Hero, Dragons 7’s, Womens Football, Cricket: Twenty20 Sports explained, top tips and more...

June 2014 1 Photo: Papaya Photography

2 June 2014





WELCOME Issue 10! We are into double digits as a global magazine that features ONLY women’s sport. So, so proud of where this journey has come to and it’s thanks to you the readers for your support. It is a credit to the female athletes who for years have put themselves on the line to represent their countries with little coverage and no money. We are now in exciting times with a significant shift in the perception of women’s sport - many national teams offering central contracts, a significant increase in media coverage and a growing support movement that is bringing about change and influence in many avenues. Is it perfect yet, is there parity? No,



there isn’t - but we are suddenly moving in the right direction and this is what’s important.

There is no way that I would have foreseen all that has happened in the last 9 issues of the magazine. The stories, the athletes, the exclusives, the support and the growth of exposure to and support for women’s sport! We are living in such exciting times now and I can’t even begin to imagine what will happen between now and issue 20. This issue showcases the great work that our charity of choice, Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust does, as well as an extensive time spent with Dame Kelly herself. There are also articles by some of our fantastic contributors which is a story in itself, people who are

passionate about women’s sport around the world keen to share their knowledge - and for this I am very appreciative. I am very pleased for the small part this magazine is playing in highlighting women’s sports, showcasing athletes and celebrating the stories of female athletes all over the world. Enjoy this issue and as always I look forward to your feedback and the next 10 issues! We have some very exciting things in the pipeline, watch out…

Myak-Paul Homberger - Editor

June 2014 Issue No 010

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Papaya P h o t o g r a p h y

S P O R T S ● S P E C I A L I S T E V E N T S ● C O R P O R AT E E V E N T S


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International Contents


Contributors 6


Kelly Holmes 10 Bianca Walkden 19 Lara Prior-Palmer 22


Sally Conway 27 Sports International Magazine’s Outstanding Athlete


Anna Turney 36 Dragons 7’s Mission Statement 43 Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust 49 Sports International Magazine’s Unsung Hero


Womens Football 53 Designing the Future of Womens Sports


Sports Explained: Taekwondo 66 Golf: A week on tour with Lydia Hall


Cricket: The ICC Womens Twenty20 World cup


Make a Pledge: Photo Gallery 82 Méabh De Búrca 87 Recipes and Tips 92 Thankyou’s 94 Contact 95

June 2014 Issue No 010

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Contributors Myak-Paul Homberger Aside from being a huge sports nut and champion of women’s sport, has numerous qualifications including being a BAWLA qualified weight training coach, two martial arts black belts alongside his instructor level in Urban Krav Maga. He is also an NLP practitioner and sociologist with an HND in RAB. Photography is his main passion and he has been published internationally. Myak has worked with men’s and women’s national teams, as well as with premiership teams and individual players.

Adam Barlow Adam Barlow’s passion for football began in 1994 watching Lincoln City in the lower leagues of the English football league system. In 2008 he took up blogging and started watching more semi professional football in order to gain an insight into the game at grass roots as he was keen to develop his understanding of the game at all levels. Watching the England Women’s team play and beat Serbia in a European Championship qualifier at Doncaster in 2011, he was very impressed by the skill of the players and quickly made the decision to learn and write more about women’s football. In 2012 he attended his first FAWSL game at Lincoln Ladies and started writing as the official fans’ blogger on the website. As time went on he became more engrossed in both writing and the women’s game, writing articles for the website and helping to compose the player profiles for the website. He now regularly reports for Sports International Magazine and would like to help give women’s sport the platform it deserves. Away from football his other sporting passion is Taekwondo, having trained in the sport since 1989 and achieving the rank of third Dan Black Belt and helping in the running of classes.

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Steven Oldham Steven is 27 and comes from Stockport in Greater Manchester. He is rubbish at sports but loves them anyway. Passionate about writing since his school years, he studied for his NCTJ diploma in Multimedia Journalism in 2011. A keen advocate of minority sports, he thinks it is important that these sports get coverage alongside more traditional sports. He writes his own sports blog which covers everything from football and motorsport to badminton and Taekwondo.

Holly Colvin Aged just 15, Holly made history in 2005 when she became the youngest player (male and female) to represent England. On her debut test she took 3 wickets in her first innings and narrowly missed out on a hatrick. She since fully justified the early faith shown in her by the selectors, juggling A-levels and degree in Natural Sciences through her cricketing career. She was an integral part of the England attack during the 2009 Women’s Cricket World Cup, taking 9 wickets at 18 in the competition and hitting the winning runs in a tense finish in the final against New Zealand. She was the highest wicket taker, with 9 for 106, in the Women’s World Twenty20 in England in 2009.  More recently, she had the series of her career against the West Indies last autumn, taking 4-17 in the third ODI helping England achieve their first ever series victory in the Caribbean. Her dangerous, flighted deliveries have taken her to the top of the list of English wicket-takers in women’s T20Is, with 63 wickets. Since taking a break from playing, Holly’s focus currently lies with Lord’s Taverners, a charity that gives disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.

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Contributors Nigel Francis Nigel is the founder of the Dragons 7s team and an IRB Level 2 7s coach. After retiring from a playing career that saw him represent Wales Deaf Rugby and win the World Cup, he decided to put something back into a sport that offered him so many opportunities. Despite openly admitting that he fell into coaching women’s rugby by chance he has become a passionate supporter of women’s rugby in Wales. Outside rugby Nigel is a Senior Lecturer at Swansea University and holds a PhD in Immunology.

Rachael Stack Rachael Stack is part of the football corresponding team for Sports International. Rachael is a soccer/football fanatic having been to the Women’s World Cup 2011, London Olympics 2012 and Algarve Cup 2013. You are sure to find her tweeting about the sport or planning her next trip away to see a game. She knows the sport inside out having been on both sides of the line playing and coaching. Despite an early retirement she hopes to share both her love and as much information to help grow the game as well as women’s sport. 8 June 2014

Myroslava Terlecky Myroslava Terlecky is a freelance photographer, videographer, blogger and podcaster on women’s football. From playing as a child to attending the Euros in Sweden in 2013, her interest in women’s football has deepened to cover all aspects of the game. Myroslava is a media production student and is now in her final year at university. For her final project she has decided to do a podcast, which combines her passion for football with her practical skills in the radio studio. Although her focus is in the radio studio, her media production degree has had her work on TV, film, documentary and photography. Sports photography is another passion of hers and she has photographed many women’s football fixtures including England vs Wales and the 2013 u17 Euros in the midlands. To follow her project go to:https://soundcloud.com/ itsgameday To follow her photography go to:https://www.flickr.com/photos/ moshterlecky/

Lydia Hall Lydia is a professional golfer and a British Masters Champion, the winner of the British Masters in August 2012. She started playing golf at eleven and has put in a great deal of hard work into training and playing golf, which clearly has paid off!  Lydia is Welsh born and bred, and apart from golf also plays football in the off-season for the local ladies team. Lydia was featured in Issue 8 of the magazine.

Lily Rice Lily began her fashion education at Central Saint Martins before specialising on the only Performance Sportswear Design course in the UK. Lily has worked as a designer at Umbro, furthering her knowledge of sportswear design and allowing her access to the heritage of one of England’s bestloved sporting brands. Whilst at Umbro, Lily worked on kits and training product for teams such as England, Manchester City, Bilbao and Lille.

August 2013. Driven by an athletic aesthetic, the brand showcases female design for the female form, with angular cuts and prints the focus of the brand, Lexie takes a fresh look at women’s sportswear design. Lily has always fostered a passion for sport giving her unique insight, which she applies to her designs. Attending her first football match at the age of four, she joined a team shortly after and often beat the boys at their own game. Having taken up running, she completed her first half marathon last year and has this year entered the London Marathon Ballot. Alongside this Lily has a keen interest in boxing and surfing (although her ability in these is questionable!). Contact: lily@lexiesport.co.uk www.lexiesport.co.uk

In the summer of sport 2012, Lily created Lexie, which successfully received investment from Richard Reed of innocent smoothies on the hit BBC3 show ‘Be your own Boss’. Since it’s creation on the show, the brand has received great interest (Vogue & Drapers, Future 50 award) and launched in June 2014 9


Kelly Holmes 10 June 2014

Photo: Papaya Photography

Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust Interview and article by Myak Homberger

Usually when you interview athletes you get between five minutes and an hour with them and this can be whilst walking with them as they are going somewhere or are having a coffee. With Dame Kelly it has been very different. I was given access to the athlete mentors and Dame Kelly’s team, as well as exclusive time for an interview with her. I was also invited on the Athlete Mentor away-days and the Golf fund raising day. This enabled me to observe and listen to Dame Kelly Holmes on a number of different occasions, in various places and with different people. So much has been written about Kelly’s achievements on the track that I won’t go into it - but it is safe to say that she is one of Britain’s most successful female athletes ever and as such is a household name.

“...if you see the night and day difference between a young person on day one of a course … that’s what makes me get up in the morning.” Six years ago Kelly set up the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust to enable and empower disadvantaged young people across the country. Since then they have reached over 170,000 young people; of those on their ‘Get on Track’ programme, 70% moved into education, employment or training within three months of completing the programme. This is a charity with huge success that it can be proud of - yet Kelly isn’t about to sit on her laurels. She wants to grow the partnerships, grow the reach of the program; she is so passionate about it. As Kelly says “...if you see the night and day difference between a young person on day one of a course and the one on the stage after the course…that’s what makes me get up in the morning.” Kelly is committed, keen and completely passionate about the young people and seeing them enabled to overcome life’s challenges and have a better life. “It’s about opportunity for change,” she says.  June 2014 11

Photo: Papaya Photography

Kelly comes across with a genuine knowledge, passion and desire to see young people enabled and in watching her and listening to her you can hear the passion and the moments where she is touched by people’s stories. This is an athlete and a person who lives and breathes her vision. One of the key things that have stood out for me in all the time I have spent with Kelly and her team is that there is zero sugar coating. This doesn’t mean that she, the athlete mentors and her team are in any way unhelpful or unsupportive: on the contrary, they call a spade a spade and use sporting analogies and experiences to show people that actually there are many challenges in life - and then also show them how to deal with the challenges. As Kelly says, “...it will all be a fantasy if you don’t do something about it yourself.” There are no free rides here, the young people and the athlete mentors need to do things for themselves, to take responsibility and change. The way in which this is done is one of support and information: the athlete mentors letting the young people know that it can be done and that although life isn’t always easy or going to go their way, showing them what 12 June 2014

they can do about it. This is in so many ways at odds with the world we live in, where there often is a lack of direction or reason for doing anything, with many excuses or possible reasons given for young people not achieving and the negatives focussed on. The DKHLT however are doing the exact opposite and in doing so they are enabling, encouraging and empowering young people

“...it will all be a fantasy if you don’t do something about it yourself.” and providing a sense of self-worth to a younger generation. All of the above has to come from somewhere. So often well known athletes

Photo: CNN/Amanda Davis

Photo: Papaya Photography

are figure heads of campaigns, charities and initiatives and yet aren’t really involved or know what’s going on at a grassroots level. In the time I spent with Kelly, the team and the Trust it has been fascinating to observe and listen to them. For me one of the best ways to sum Kelly up is the fact that in a large room full of people, whether it’s a talk or a presentation or a workshop, you wouldn’t know she was in the room. She isn’t up front, sitting on the stage, she is at the back watching and listening. She wants to make sure everyone else is at the front learning and that she is just another person there. This is the way in which Kelly conducts herself: there is no fanfare or spotlight, she is just there.

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Photo: courtesy Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust

The athlete mentors are the spearhead of how the Trust works with young people and so Kelly holds training days and workshops for all the athletes and equips them to do the job - but more than that, she also enables them to get through their personal challenges of transition out of full time sport and into other fields. Again, when you watch her interact with people, you can see that she is genuinely interested and wanting to help. More so, she thanks each athlete for giving their time and for all they do with the trust, she talks with each athlete one on one over the two days, getting to know them better and imparting her vision and passion. There is no athlete who goes away without a sense of value and having been inspired by Kelly. This is a humble person wanting to enable others to succeed, rather than be treated like a celebrity. This in turn leads on to how she interacts with those around her. Kelly actually listens to people and much to my surprise when she sees young people at an awards ceremony or an athlete mentor she knows who they are and their story. She connects with each one of them and makes them feel special. It is an incredible gift and each person is affected by her. There 14 June 2014

Photo: courtesy Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust

is gentleness with Kelly, she wants to listen, understand and help. For those who regularly interact with her - from the teams to the athlete mentors to the sponsors and supporters of her charity Golf day - there is a warm embrace and greeting, smiles and chat, like friends. There are no airs and graces; you wouldn’t know she was a Dame of the British Empire. Why? Because in her eyes she is just Kelly, and she is reaching out and connecting with people on a level, she has no desire to be better than them. She knows how far she has come and what she has achieved, but she also knows what she wants to do now: enabling the next generation whilst also helping athletes transition into new careers. Kelly is a smiley, jovial, chatty person who is achieving great things in her third career (after the Army and international athletics), by being down to earth, humble, passionate and focused on what she wants to achieve, whilst also being very real about the challenges of life. It is this combination that enables her and the athlete mentors whom she has put huge amounts of time into to produce such amazing results. It has been a privilege to spend so much time with and around Kelly and the team and I look forward to seeing the Trust grow and its impact spread further afield. June 2014 15

Feel great. Play tough. Sportswear designed for the female athlete

Rebecca Smith


NZ Football Fern captain 2012 Olympics

I really enjoy pulling on my Emvale gear either to train in or for recovery because I like how it is different from the main stream. It has a story behind it and I know that the gear is made with the thought of what is best for each athlete in mind. While I feel sporty wearing it, I also like that it is feminine and made for women.

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w w w. e m v a l e . c o m

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” - Les Brown




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Photos courtesy GB Taekwondo

Bianca Walkden

European Ta e k w o n d o champion By Steven Oldham

Recently crowned European Taekwondo champion Bianca Walkden is now aiming for Olympic gold after securing her first major international in Azerbaijan earlier this month. June 2014 19

The 22-year-old beat Russia’s Olga Ivanova in the final of the women’s +73kg weight division in Baku on May 2 to win her most high profile title to date. Bianca’s gold was the highlight of a strong British performance at the Championships which saw the team scoop an impressive seven medals, their best ever haul. Liverpool-born Walkden - who won bronze in 2010 at the same event - believes her victory has helped her turn a corner after previous disappointment in major tournaments, including

What did I do differently? The main difference was I was more relaxed. I was more composed - taking the tournament fight by fight, round by round.  It was definitely a change in my mental approach which helped me - I’m pretty OK with the kicking side,” she said modestly. Rio 2016 remains the big target for Bianca, one made bigger after missing out on selection for her home Olympics in 2012.  GB Taekwondo went with veteran and Beijing 2008 bronze medal winner Sarah Stevenson in her place.  

“I had three tough fights. Now I know I can win gold I want to do it again. ” last year’s World Championships where she failed to make the quarter finals. “It was a great moment when I won. There’s a video clip of me celebrating after I won which I think says it all really.  It was a relief to win.  I have proved I can do it at the top level,” she said. After receiving a bye for the first round, she eliminated Poland’s Aleksandra Kowalczuk 8-2, before whitewashing Serbian fighter Ana Bajic 6-0 in the semis to set up the final with Ivanova. Despite the convincing scorelines, Bianca is insistent she did not find her path to European glory easy. “I had three tough fights.  Now I know I can win gold I want to do it again.  My next target is the next Grand Prix event in China in July, and beyond that my ultimate aim is the Rio 2016 Olympics. 20 June 2014

“Yes, Rio is my ultimate focus. My aim is to be ranked in the top six fighters in the world by December next year.  That way, I will qualify for Rio - it’s the most straight forward way to get there. It works on a point system - I currently have 40 points.  I was on 25 at the start of the year, so the European title has helped me catch up,” she explained. In the latest rankings, without her victory in Baku included, Bianca lies 12th in the world rankings. Beaten finalist Ivanova is currently second to France’s Anne Caroline Graffe. After some time off following the Euros, Bianca and the rest of the Briti sh team return to action at the Austrian Open this weekend. Walkden and the other British fighters are based in Manchester, and currently enjoy increased central funding following a successful home

Photos courtesy GB Taekwondo

Games two years ago. Jade Jones made history by taking the country’s first Olympic gold. Lutalo Muhammad won bronze in the men’s heavyweight competition to cement a best-ever Games for Team GB. Being a full time Taekwondo player is not for the faint hearted. Athletes train six days a week, with three sessions a day Monday-Thursday, two on a Friday and one on Saturday before their day off. Fighters work on everything from sparring and pad work, to strength building weights and cardio to keep them at the top of their game. As Bianca’s star rises, and with Taekwondo’s popularity growing thanks to the London 2012 effect, she is aware of her responsibilities to future generations.

look up to me, as I’ve shown I can fight and beat the best players in the world. I’d like to inspire them,” she said. So which sportswomen did the young Bianca look up to?  “I loved watching Dame Kelly Holmes win her two gold medals in Athens.  Her success was a big influence on me.  Also, the pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.  I love watching people who dominate their sport and she did that,” she said.  It is obvious Bianca is determined to rise as high as she can and only a fool would write her off achieving her ultimate ambition of Olympic gold.

“I’d like to think of myself as a role model. When I was growing up I was just a kid who did Taekwondo because I loved it. I hope kids can June 2014 21

Lara Prior-Palmer Mongolian Derby Winner

Interview and article by Myak Homberger The Mongolian Derby is the longest horse race in the world: a multi-horse, endurance race covering 1000km and with a time limit of ten days in which the riders need to navigate their way across the plains on their own. Of the thirty five riders who took part last year only seventeen finished. It’s a tough race and not for the faint hearted, ill equipped or the horse-shy (you would be surprised!) At the age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer decided in 2013 to go on an ‘exciting holiday,’ as she put it. Signing up only six weeks before the race meant she didn’t have the ten months of preparation that some of the other competitors had had. At first this may seem careless, but as we talk it becomes a fascinating theme about Lara’s approach to life: on the surface it appears to be dreamy, but it actually has a lot of merit to it and underneath the exterior is a very sharp athlete with a great approach to life. Her teachers at school may have told her that she didn’t take things seriously, yet she sees this as a gift. “People get down when things happen, I don’t take myself seriously,” she says. This allowed her to approach the Mongolian adventure from a completely different angle. For her it wasn’t about going and trying to win, it was about going and coming back having grown, having learnt. “I knew I would come out with something,” she says explaining her view of the race.  For Lara success is measured on a different set of scales - which as 22 June 2014

Photo courtesy Lara Prior-Palmer

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Photo courtesy Lara Prior-Palmer

Photo courtesy Lara Prior-Palmer

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Photo courtesy Lara Prior-Palmer

her teachers said, could look like she doesn’t take things seriously. However, Lara’s view is actually that she sees failure and success as equal. Why? Because she sees things from a different perspective: she wants to enjoy life and the adventures it brings, she maintains that to reflect on trivial things and get upset by them is pointless. Learn from them and embrace them; find a way and make it work. In the middle of nowhere, riding on your own and having to stand in the stirrups has had a positive affect on Lara. “When there are no people around no one can define you, only you yourself,” she reflects about the hours and hours spent on her own. This in no way romanticises the adventure or diminishes the challenge, but further demonstrates her exciting world view. 

“When there are no people around no one can define you, only you yourself”

Of course it was tough, but for her it was about seeing past the pain and seeing the bigger picture. Having said that, she readily talks about the challenge. “It was so tough!” she says, and then explains in more detail: “...so much pain all over your body and mental pain, waking up like you hadn’t been to sleep...” Add to this falling off horses in some of the remotest parts of the world and then seeing them bolt off with NO ONE around…. For Lara, it’s about what one gets out of the experience. “I was blown away by the Mongols’ hospitality. Here you are in the middle of nowhere, they give you their bed, tuck you up and want nothing for it.” Adventures like this can’t fail to affect you. She asks, “what if I knocked on doors in the UK (where she is from) and asked to stay the night with a stranger? I think most doors would be slammed in my face. I want to do things differently.”  Lara may be an adventurer, but its not just about her own adventures - it’s about learning, growing, enjoying life and giving back in a number of different ways. It has also however made her want more. “I’m greedy for adventure now,” she says excitedly.  Lara’s desire was to come back having had an adventure, knowing June 2014 25

that she was going to ‘get something from it’. Well, she did in more ways than one. She won the Mongolian Horse Derby in under 7 days and became the first woman to win the race! A feat that can in no way be underestimated. The interesting thing is that to this day she is downplaying it. For Lara what is more important, and what she speaks about with more passion, is the experience: the good and the bad, it is all positive in her mind. Where she will go next and what she will do is all in the planning stage now - but what is sure is that she is looking at things in a very different way to many other people. On the surface it may seem too laid back, but this is a Mongolian Derby winner, the first woman to win the race; and a tennis player and Welsh capped Lacrosse player to boot. 

Photo courtesy Lara Prior-Palmer

Lara shows again that athletes come in many different forms, they look at things in different ways and gain different things from their various pursuits. In addition, Lara also has a very specific view of life: one that embraces all around her, one where negatives are a positive and where she defines herself, not anyone else. I look forward to her next adventure! Photo courtesy Lara Prior-Palmer

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Photo courtesy of Sally Conway

Sally Conway Team GB Judo Interview and article by Myak Homberger Sally Conway has been described by many in the press as ‘slight framed’ - yet this belies who and what she is. Sally is currently 9th in the world and one of Britain’s toughest, most tenacious and physical judoka. With an impressive tally of medals to her name she is well on the road to achieving her goals. To date she has won 29 Gold’s, 11 Silvers and 17 Bronze medals in tournaments on the world stage: this is the mark of what she is as an athlete. One of the nicest and continually smiley athletes to chat to, Sally seems so calm for someone

with the pedigree we spoke of above. For her it’s been a journey from a ten year old girl till now, working on her mental game and switching between friendly and smiley off the mat and completely focussed on the mat. “I have had to work on the mental side of things,” she says. For Sally part of the enjoyment that she gains from this is the knowledge that she is always learning, adapting, changing - and she revels in this. “You can always better yourself; there is always something to aim for,” she says with such enthusiasm. It is an interesting state of mind: Sally enjoys the constant change and improvement which many would find unsettling - but she sees June 2014 27

it as positive and a large part of why she chose Judo over so many of the other sports she was good at. “You never stop learning - and I love that,” Sally commented on part of her reason for picking Judo. Despite wanting to constantly change, learn and grow, the interesting thing is that Sally is very peaceful and calm. There is no sense of frustration or dissatisfaction with Sally, she is happy with where she is at. This in part is due to injuries that over time have taught her to be able to reflect on her successes and shorten her goals to manageable targets. She wants to grow but she is now also enjoying the journey, enjoying the constant state of learning. Sally is very clear that the successes are there to be enjoyed as well - and it is her view that you learn from everything that has ensured such a positive outcome from her injuries.

“I don’t want to get to the end of my career and say if only I did this or that…no regrets.” Having said all of that it in no way diminishes the fire she has to win or her desire to top the world rankings and medal tables. “My target isn’t Dans but medals, titles and the Olympics,” she says very quickly when I ask her about her goals. Sally knows exactly what she wants and where she is going, but for her it doesn’t need to consume her - and this ultimately makes her a better person, athlete and Judoka. Sally is clear that she doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned in her career. “I don’t want to get to the end of my career and say if only I did this or that…no regrets.” So Sally does push and 28 June 2014

Photo courtesy of Sally Conway

Photo courtesy of Sally Conway

train hard and makes sure that those mornings when her body is aching she still gets up and throws herself into it. It’s why she has numerous small jobs that help pay the bills in between Judo. It’s so that she can get to the end of her career and look back knowing she gave it her all - but interestingly, she never says ‘it is so I can say I won this or I won that’. For Sally it is about moving forward, growing and enjoying every moment. This in no way means she doesn’t have determination - just look at her medal tally. There is huge steel and determination there under the small frame and smiley demeanour, don’t be fooled. This is a world class athlete who is focusing on the right things and in so doing is achieving the very things that so many make their focus yet miss out on

the richness that Sally has gained, to grow, to learn and most importantly to enjoy. I look forward to seeing Sally’s career develop and for now, the Commonwealth Games as her next challenge.

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AT H L E T E Marcelle Manson (neé Keet) By Myak Homberger

Outstanding athletes are the best of the best, they stand on the shoulders of giants and in the case of women’s sport for the most part they need to be even more fantastic. The reason being that most female athletes have a regular job as well as playing for their club, train 6/7 times a week and fly around the world representing their country. So it’s something special that has to set someone apart as our ‘Outstanding athlete’ for an issue. Marcelle may have been one half of our cover for the feature on the South African Hockey team last year but that was about the team, this is about her being an outstanding athlete. Marcelle breathes the very rarefied air of not only having represented her country in more than one sport but she has stuck with it - and this is what makes her such a remarkable athlete. She continues to represent South Africa full time in two sports - Water polo and Hockey, both physically challenging contact sports. When sitting down to chat with her it’s always a pleasure as she exudes such happiness, 30 June 2014

positivity and appreciation of those around her, it’s contagious. To Marcelle her life is about her family, her sport and as she says “using every opportunity.” It’s this view that has helped her become what she is. Capped over 40 times for Water polo and 138 for Hockey she is a skilled athlete - but when I ask her if she feels special or one of a small group that has achieved what she has, she can’t see it, to her it’s just normal. “My mum and Dad encouraged us to do and try, they didn’t make a big deal of any of it and so I never saw it as a big deal. So it’s not a big deal,” she says of both her formative years and her view now. She genuinely is relaxed in herself and in what she is doing and doesn’t see it as anything special and it’s this very outlook that has allowed her to achieve what she has. Free from all the normal expectations and pressures she is ‘just’ an athlete and that allows her to excel at the highest levels on the international stage. There is more to her though than being a remarkable athlete. She has an outlook on sport and life that has shaped not only her own

Photo: Papaya Photography

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Photo: Papaya Photography

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Photo: Papaya Photography Photo: Papaya Photography

Photo: Papaya Photography

Photo: Papaya Photography

development but also affects those around her and importantly, is helping the next generation to grow under her mentoring. She is a keen advocate of the next generation and listening to her talk about the young people coming through and her excitement about their skills and where they are going, in a way says a lot about her as a person as much as about her as an athlete. She isn’t trying to stay in the limelight for as long as possible - she has a bigger view of sport and life than that. This is about the next generation and she wants to make sure that they are equipped to fill some very big shoes. For Marcelle there are some clear principles: she has friends not just team mates, you make the best of being away from home, she loves being with the girls, representing is a privilege and the one phrase that kept recurring is “I love it,” as she would say whenever she couldn’t think of how to express why. June 2014 33

She is exuberant when explaining about her life view, why it’s not a challenge, why doing two sets of training with two teams and flying round the world for two different sports is fun. No matter which way I worded questions it was clear she genuinely was happy doing what she does and doesn’t see it as being a major issue. “You need to work for success,” she says, recognising that it doesn’t just happen - but outside of that you will never hear her complain because she loves it and enjoys it. This isn’t spin, it comes from a genuine belief and gratitude for what she is doing and “a desire to always see the best of everything,” as Shelley Russell said of her team mate. It’s not blind positivity, it’s gratitude and enjoyment that is firmly grounded in hard work that allows her to gain every ounce of life out of a situation and have fun doing it. Just don’t try and cross her on the Water polo court or on the Hockey pitch….

34 June 2014

Photo: Papaya Photography

Marcelle is an outstanding athlete for all these reasons and a joy to spend time with and interview, her outlook on life is great. It would be impossible not to be impacted by her were you to meet her.

“it was great to have Maggie as our special guest to celebrate her award as outstanding athlete for issue 9�

June 2014 35

Anna Turney Team GB Double Winter

Paralympic Skier

36 June 2014

Interview and article by Myak Homberger The photos that accompany this article give you a little more perspective of what Anna does and achieves whilst flying down snow covered mountains at speed! Anna is qualified to compete in every Paralympic skiing discipline which is a huge achievement in itself, but also one that sums her up as an athlete and a person. If it’s there for the taking, Anna is going to throw herself into it and achieve what she set out to do. Spending time talking to Anna was so interesting, trying to understand what makes her tick and enable her to achieve all she has and continues to achieve. For her, looking ahead is key. “You need to know what you want to achieve,” she says of the starting point in achieving things. The reason for this is so simple yet effective: if you look ahead and are clear on what you want to achieve, then you can work backwards and plan. 

Photos: courtesy Anna Turney

June 2014 37

Photos: courtesy Anna Turney

38 June 2014

In a way this is all fairly text book, but the thing that stands out is Anna’s clarity that things actually do go wrong, and that it is what you do with this that matters. For her it’s about knowing that they can go wrong, not beating oneself up about it and just moving on past it. And most importantly, focusing on the original goal and not on the negative. “It’s easy to focus on the negative,” she says.  For Anna, therefore, it’s about learning and moving on and having the ability to acknowledge the difficulties, but not letting it become your

“You need to know what you want to achieve” focus or determine who you are, or more importantly, are going to become. The theme of things going wrong weaves through our conversation, but at each point Anna talks about it in a way that gives you the sense that she is at peace with it - and her approach enables

June 2014 39

her to not lose focus of her aims. Therefore, rather than thinking that everything will be fine if one plans and trains hard, it is also knowing that things sometimes can and do go wrong. It is this acceptance that gives Anna an incredible determination and ability to pull through anything. This is great to see and listen to. Having said all of the above, for Anna it’s all well and good planning and having a goal/dream, but according to her there is only one way it’s going to happen….through hard work. That’s her secret: it’s sheer hard work, nothing else. It goes hand in hand with her determination to succeed: she is very clear that the only way to the top and the only way to achieve what she set herself to do is through hard work…and lots of it!

“….friends, family and my husband have backed me and this is central to my success and what I can achieve.”

Hard work comes in three forms for Anna: firstly in training, the gym, etc., but also in selfprotection of her body, keeping her muscles balanced, mobility training, rotator cuff work, meditation etc., all to ensure that her body is being looked after rather than just being highly trained. She cares for herself and her body in order to ensure that she is able to train hard so that she can achieve her goals. These parts all connect incredibly well. The final part of the jigsaw for me was when Anna commented that “….friends, family and my husband have backed me and this is central to my success and what I can achieve.” She says that she can actually achieve more when she has that

Photos: courtesy Anna Turney

40 June 2014

support. As Anna talks about this support, it’s clear to see that it has a very positive and empowering effect on her. It has also helped propel her to where she is now and will continue to help her in the ascendancy of her sport. Anna is a athlete with a huge amount of determination that gives her a focus on her goals, that allows her to train hard whilst protecting herself, knowing she has the full support of those close to her. It is this combination working together in harmony that makes her who she is, a great athlete who is exciting to watch and an inspiration to those who spend time with her.

Photos: courtesy Anna Turney

June 2014 41

Jess Fishlock

42 June 2014

Dragons 7s Vision Statement

Photo: Papaya Photography

June 2014 43

Photo: Papaya Photography

44 June 2014

Photos: courtesy Seatlle Reign FC

By Nigel Francis When the Dragons 7s first started back in 2011 in order to enter a side into the West Country 7s I never anticipated that as the start of the 4th season approaches I would be writing a vision statement for Sports International Magazine.  Mind you I had also never anticipated meeting Myak and being caught up in his passion for women’s sport. The first three years have seen the Dragons evolve from a group of players based in South Wales, who just wanted to play 7s in the summer into a squad that is able to field two competitive sides at tournaments as we did at both the West Country 7s and Newquay Surf 7s in 2013.  This two-tiered structure is going to be very important in the future as we continue to develop with a longterm aim of becoming one of the top invitation sides on the UK circuit.

From humble roots we now find ourselves in a position to ask some of the top talent across the UK and beyond to represent the side

The past 3 months have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with a number of big changes being implemented. Perhaps the most important from the playing side is the introduction of the Dragons Academy side, which will play under the banner of the Dreigiau 7s. It is very important to remember where the roots of the Dragons started and the initial aim of the team, which was to offer Welsh players the opportunity to play 7s and help raise the standard of women’s rugby in the Principality.  With this in mind the Dreigiau 7s will be an all Welsh squad that will look to develop stars of the future. The Dragons 7s will become a true invitation side and a number of players have already been approached for 2014. This two-tiered approach will hopefully secure the future of the side on the UK circuit and help us offer the best talents a platform to showcase their skill. The Dragons have also linked up with the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, this amazing opportunity will see the Dragons raising funds for the Trust, which uses athlete mentors to help support disadvantaged young adults around the UK.   Philippa Tuttiett, a Wales 7s international, who has represented the Dragons, is one of the mentors on this programme.

June 2014 45

Photo: Papaya Photography

Photo: Papaya Photography

46 June 2014

So where does this leave the Dragons? It is necessary to evolve to survive and this is precisely what has happened with the team. From humble roots we now find ourselves in a position to ask some of the top talent across the UK and beyond to represent the side.  The aim of the Dragons is unchanged in that we want to become one of the best sides on the circuit, being a side that players want to represent and having a great deal of fun in the process!   After all that is why we are all involved in the beautiful game of 7s rugby.

‘Come not between the Dragons and their wrath’

It would be greatly remiss of me not to express my sincere thanks to Myak for all the hard work that he is putting into helping drive this evolution. The passion he brings to the Dragons is a great motivator for me to continue to work hard and the contacts he brings with him have opened a number of doors both with potential players and sponsors.   Thank you mate, here’s to the future! For more information about the Dragons please visit:  www.dragons7s.co.uk  or contact Nigel at nigel@dragons7s.co.uk

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“A creative person is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others� - Ayn Rand


International 48 June 2014


The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust gets lives on track, using the unique experience of world class athletes to engage, enable and empower disadvantaged young people across the country. We’ve reached over 170,000 young people since we were founded in 2008. 70% of young people from our national flagship programme Get On Track moved into education, employment or training within three months of completing the programme. They now have a bright future to look forward to. But we won’t stop there - by 2016, our goal is to reach 200,000 young people. For more information go to www.damekellyholmestrust.org

Will you support Dame Kelly Holmes’ vision to engage, enable and empower disadvantaged young people?


Resilience, confidence and self belief: these are all traits an Olympian, Paralympian or world champion needs to compete at top level. They are traits we all need to succeed in life, whatever we choose to do. But they are also what many young people lack, through no fault of their own. Every young person the DKH Legacy Trust supports is mentored by a world class athlete, giving them the chance to be the best they can be.

So far we’ve reached 104,000 young people... By 2016 we’ll reach 200,000 Will you help us and take on a fundraising challenge?

www.dkhlegacytrust.org/ fundraising/events

June 2014 49


HERO Hannah Porter By Myak Homberger I have known Hannah for a few years now, first with the Black Ferns (New Zealand’s 15’s Rugby squad) and as now manager of the New Zealand Women’s 7’s Rugby team. She has always exemplified to me the essence of what the magazine is looking for in an Unsung Hero. So it is fitting that in recognition of her retiring from active involvement in International rugby at the end of this season that we acknowledge Hannah and all she has done.

the scenes and observe and spend time with her and the team without the usual media restrictions. In observing Hannah, she provides calm to the team and a genuine sense of care for the players as individuals. The way she conducts herself with players one to one, both on the field and off the field, is excellent and you can see how well the players respond to her. There is an ‘aura’ about her that puts people at ease and that’s priceless.

Like all unsung heroes Hannah has worked relentlessly behind the scenes of women’s sport to improve it, provide the best with the minimal resources given to them and to support the women as they travel around the world and are away from family and friends.

Hannah is the first one up in the morning sorting logistics and the last one to bed as she sorts details for the next day. Given that the team has on average a 20 hour flight to any of the World Series competitions she has a lot to deal with and yet it is all done with such a laid back attitude you wouldn’t know if you looked at her what her role was and the gargantuan amount of work she does.

Having spent 10 years playing for New Zealand, winning 2 World Cups, a 7’s Final and more than 25 caps, Hannah was part of the pioneering generation that has given the current athletes the foundations they have and enjoy now. No one is better placed to understand athletes than the ones who have trod the path before them and who have been at the forefront of the new age. Hannah’s ability to understand the players and be there for them has been key to the development of the atmosphere in the squad. I have been privileged on numerous occasions to be allowed to go behind 50 June 2014

Culture, logistics, players, player welfare, support staff, match scheduling, media scheduling, hotels, food, injuries, hospitals - the list of things she does in any given day is endless and it is all done with a smile on her face. With a young family at home as well, Hannah has sacrificed so much for so long and never complained. She loves what she is doing and wouldn’t have changed a moment in all she has done, as she said when we chatted recently in Amsterdam. “Rugby has given me so much and to give something




June 2014 51

Photo: Papaya Photography

back to the young coming through is great. I enjoyed my time and wouldn’t change one thing.” For Hannah Rugby is in her DNA, it’s what has enabled her to travel the world, win a lot of silverware, meet people and it has given her a career - and as part of that vanguard of female athletes who have brought in a new era, Hannah has given of herself for the love of the game, her country and to ensure the next generation takes the new opportunities with both hands and with the right attitude. Hannah has always had time for me despite the pressures of her various roles and made me feel welcome and a part of the family, and I am grateful for all her time and support. She is the sort of Unsung hero that makes the good great and so despite having to say goodbye to her as she resigns, I look forward with interest to see how her impact and legacy continues and hope that she will in some way still be around in the future, for the sake of Rugby. Hannah is indeed a legendary Unsung Hero.

52 June 2014

Photo: Myroslava Terlecky

Women’s Football By Adam Barlow England Football Women’s football is now in full flow in England. Over the past couple of months the Sports International team have been out and about covering both the national side and international games, meeting various people in the game. Here is some of our highlights of our journey so far.  Having performed well in Cyprus it was down to the serious stuff for England as they faced Montenegro in a world cup qualifier at in Brighton in what was manager Mark Sampson’s first home game in charge. After Toni Duggan put England ahead in second minute they never looked back and strolled to a 9-0 win in the sunshine. Although everybody connected with England was very happy the game had extra meaning to Leanne Sanderson who grabbed herself a goal, her 3rd since returning to the team. The midfielder had been out of the fold under Hope Powell’s reign but her inclusion and form for England since Sampson took over has been a huge plus for England.  Sanderson plays her football for the Boston Breakers in the NWSL but is only too happy to June 2014 53

Photo: Myroslava Terlecky

54 June 2014

make trans-Atlantic journeys to play for England. “ I try not to think about it (the travelling distance) she told us after the game. “It’s my choice to play out there but I would fly anywhere to represent my country.” It was obvious just how much playing for England means to Leanne: “Singing the anthem before the game brought a tear to my eye,” she said smiling. “I never thought I would get the opportunity again so it’s all a dream come true. It’s like I have never been away. Mark and all the staff have been brilliant in welcoming me back into the fold.” England fans will be hoping to see many more goals and smiles from Leanne in an England shirt. 2014 FAWSL  On the face of it a cold, wet windy night in Widnes may not be number one place to spend a Thursday evening but for fans and media covering women’s football in England Widnes was the only place to be on.....  It’s fair to say that the 2014 FAWSL season has been the most anticipated season in the leagues short history. A lot of this was down to Manchester City ladies who had been granted a licence for FAWSL One for the first time. The club were the talk of the league in pre-season as they signed 4 England internationals: Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Steph Houghton and Karen Bardsley. When the fixture computer gave them a tricky trip to Liverpool Ladies for their first game, Sports International couldn’t resist a trip to see the 2013 champions take on the new kids on the block.  Despite the weather the game had attracted a good crowd and a packed press area, two indicators that the women’s game in England is really starting to capture the public’s imagination. On the field Manchester City held their own for much of the game and it took Liverpool until the 72nd minute to break through, courtesy of a goal from last season’s top scorer Natasha Dowie. Liverpool may have won but City striker Toni Duggan was very clear after the game that “...we sent out a message to the other teams that we mean business this season,” the former Everton player told us. “We are disappointed but I couldn’t have asked for anything else from the girls today. Some of our players have never played in front of a crowd that big and they handled it brilliantly. We will move on and come back stronger,” she added and given City’s performance, few would argue against her.  A few weeks later we had another chance to see City as they took on Everton in the Continental Cup at the impressive Etihad stadium, Photo: Myroslava Terlecky June 2014 55

Photo: Myroslava Terlecky

another sign of Manchester City’s intention to be a real force in woman’s football. Until this point City hadn’t beaten an FAWSL One side this season but all this changed as thanks to a last minute goal from Natasha Flint they grabbed a historic win, which was all the more impressive as they were without star striker Duggan. After the game we were keen to find out what manager Nick Cushings had learnt this season, his and the clubs first game at this level.  “The margins for error are very very small,” he said. “If you gift team’s opportunities they will take them and if you don’t take your chances you will get beat.”   Having seen a few games now it’s hard not to agree with Nick. The league is the closest it has ever been with anybody capable of beating anybody.

56 June 2014

Photo: Myroslava Terlecky

Photo: Myroslava Terlecky

June 2014 57

Designing the

future of

women’s sport Photos courtesy Lexie Sport

58 June 2014

By Lily Rice A recorded 26% of women ‘hate the way that they look when they exercise or play sport, 30% of girls do not like their PE kit and 40% of girls feel self-conscious about their bodies in PE lessons. For many girls and women the relationship between body image and physical activity can be a vicious circle; the more self-conscious you feel about your body, the less likely you are to take part in sport. Fuelled by not so distant memories of ‘hand me down’ men’s shirts as a junior football player and teenage shopping trips filled with unsightly Barbie pink Lycra, I spotted a huge gap in the women’s sportswear market for a brand that didn’t just ‘pink it & shrink it’. Launched last summer, following my degree in Performance Sportswear and a stint working on some of the top clubs in football as a designer for Umbro, I took the leap to create a new brand.

“...I spotted a huge gap in the women’s sportswear market for a brand that didn’t just ‘pink it & shrink it’.’ ”

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Photos courtesy Lexie Sport

60 June 2014

Photos courtesy Lexie Sport

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62 June 2014

Photos courtesy Lexie Sport

Photos courtesy Lexie Sport

Lexie’s vision is to get more women into and participating in sport through fashion. It is well documented that female participation in sport has a massively positive affect on society. Young women who play sports are less likely to be involved in unwanted pregnancy; more likely to get better grades in school and as little as four hours of exercise a week may reduce a young woman’s risk of breast cancer by up to 60%. Females who play sports experience higher states of psychological well being than girls and women who do not. And 80% of the female executives at Fortune 500 companies identified themselves as former “tomboys”, having played sports. But for many girls, being sporty is felt to be at odds with being feminine. As a girl who has grown up taking part in sport but hating the kit, I’ve felt the value sport can bring. Skills learnt on the pitch are now applied to my everyday business life (teamwork, delegation, speaking up and listening, amongst others) and

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it’s for this reason I feel so passionate about empowering more women to get into and stay with sport. While many larger sportswear brands still have men at the helm we design for women from experience. I try to remember how my body moved when I did a particular twist or turn on the court, if a strap rubbed in the gym or how my shorts sat when I increased my pace. Combining performance with the visual we desire can be tricky. Like a Lycra infatuated magpie I steal tit-bits from all over the place, pinning images as obscure as 1930s gemstones to fashion details that have caught my eye. I feel

While many larger sportswear brands still have men at the helm we design for women from experience. strongly that your workout wardrobe shouldn’t be held separately from your fashion one. After all we don’t lead two separate lives. Fabrication really helps in this area. We strip off so called ‘key indicators’, those bits you’ve always wondered what they do but they look fancy? Those! Useless pieces designed to make you feel techy and instead use smart fabrics with heaps of stretch and a great feel. Considering that women didn’t fall straight off the printing press and that we are in fact neither 2D nor all the same, I design with our differing shapes at the forefront of my mind. 64 June 2014

Testing the product is vital and done by a mixed team of women from Jane, a fitness obsessed, London Personal Trainer to Cornwall based Sarah, an accomplished surfer. The feedback allows us to hone the garments, whether that’s simply moving seams, increasing lengths or right back to the drawing board.

The design process Designs begin in Hampshire with mood boards and sketches. In Cardigan, Wales these then get translated into toiles, practice garments that allow us to see how the sketches look in form. We can then make changes needed before we make a final sample in the correct fabrics.

Photos courtesy Lexie Sport

Sometimes this can drastically change a design and put you back a few steps, if for example the final fabric doesn’t hang the way we thought or we just don’t get the right feel once the garments have been made. From here the fabrics and trims are bulk ordered and sent to our factory. Everything is now made in the UK, allowing us much greater control; we can literally pop to the factory! Once the final production samples are approved, full-scale making occurs and samples are sent out to be worn in. Like any woman in sport, as a designer you are constantly seeking to evolve and improve. Setting goals and targets, listening to your feedback and taking it forward. Striving to be the best.

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Photos courtesy GB Taekwondo

66 June 2014

Sports Explained

Taekwondo By Steven Oldham Taekwondo is a martial art that originated in Korea in the 1940s. It is one of two martial arts (the other being judo) that is contested at the Olympic Games.  It is one of the youngest Olympic sports, having not made it’s debut until the 2000 Games in Sydney. Fights in Taekwondo are one-on-one and consist of three rounds of two minutes, separated by June 2014 67

a minute’s break. Points are scored by landing successful strike with the hand or foot. A torso shot is worth a point, while the more spectacular spinning flying kicks are rewarded with two points. Head shots are legal (kicks only) and are worth three points. If after three rounds the scores are tied, the match enters a fourth sudden death round.  Electronic scoring and video replays were introduced before London 2012 to help judges score fights more accurately and avoid the controversies in previous Olympics that saw the sport’s future in doubt for future games.  In 2010, it joined the list of approved sports for the Commonwealth Games but has yet to make its debut and will not do so in Glasgow.

Points are scored by landing successful strike with the hand or foot.

In tournaments awards are gold, silver and two bronze medals - a repechage tournament decides the bronze medallists, with the losing semi finalists seeded in their respective halves and progressing directly to the final on their half of the tournament bracket. Traditional world powers in Taekwondo include South Korea, Iran, USA, Mexico and China. There are signs that the gap is closing between the elite nations and the rest of the world - at London 2012, the eight gold medals on offer went to fighters from eight different countries.  Figures vary according to source, but British Taekwondo say the sport has over 60 million practitioners worldwide in 184 countries. 

Product Photos: Daedo

68 June 2014

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“One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” - Michael Korda


International 70 June 2014



A Week on Tour with Lydia Hall Photos courtesy Ladies European Tour

June 2014 71

Photos courtesy Ladies European Tour

On a tournament week Monday mornings usually consists of getting up around 3/4am to catch a 7am flight to get to the venue for a practice round that afternoon. On arrival at the golf course it’s all go, you have to unpack the clubs from their flight bags, register with tournament secretary, grab something quick to eat then go play or walk 18 holes. Once the 18 holes are completed it’s to the hotel around 5.30pm to check in, unpack, light gym session or stretching and then heading out for something to eat before getting in bed early for another early start Tuesday for a 7/8am tee time. Tuesdays entails of playing 9 or 18 holes on the course and putting a strategy together of how you are going to play the course that week. Once that’s done, its time for quick bite to eat then off to the the practice ground to work on the things you feel need the most attention that week depending on the type of course you’re playing. Whether its putting, chipping, distance control, shot shaping, long game or just some drills to get your game sharp. After practice is done in the afternoon it’s usually about 4pm, then it’s back to hotel to head to gym or to do some stretching. Then it’s a quick shower and head our for dinner around 7.30pm and then back to room for 72 June 2014

Photos courtesy Ladies European Tour

either a quick read or some CSI or whatever box set you’re into at that time before sleep and early night. Wednesday is Pro Am day, where all the sponsors of the event get to play with the best females golfers in Europe. There’s usually two shotgun starts on in morning around 7-8am and one around 12-

There’s a big buzz as everyone prepares for Thursday! 1pm. On Wednesdays there’s always a lot of people at the golf club getting ready to play in pro am, staff preparing for first round of the event and all 120 odd pros are at the course that day also, so theres A LOT going on. There’s a big buzz as everyone prepares for Thursday! After the pro am round of golf is done, if you get the chance to you may be able to squeeze in an hour of practice before heading back to the hotel to get changed for the Pro Am dinner that evening, usually you get done by 9.30 at the dinner as all the pro’s have Round 1 of the event on Thursday morning. June 2014 73

Photos courtesy Ladies European Tour

Thursday-Sunday (Rounds 1-4) These are the days

things right that I wasn’t happy with or if I was

every player prepares for so when they arrive it’s

happy with most things I will do a light session

time to work. Competition days are very similar

to make sure everything is in it’s place for the

in what happens and routines but it’s all dictated

following day. Once I’m done at the course it’s

by your tee times. If I have a morning tee time

usually time to head back to the hotel for light gym session and more stretching. Once that’s all

These are the days every player prepares for so when they arrive it’s time to work.

completed I shower and head out for dinner with some other players. If I have an afternoon tee time (12-2.30pm) I will wake around 8am, head down for a leisurely breakfast, do some stretching in my room, then start to get ready for golf. I will get to golf club 2 hours before my tee time to go through everything as I would for the morning tee time above. Once I have finished on the course,

(between 8am-11am) I am up 3 hours before my

I will do a light cool down on the driving range

tee time. I don’t like rushing, I like to wake, shower,

and putting green then head back to room to do

dress, eat breakfast, get to golf club, stretch and

some stretching and then head straight out for

warm body up for golf and then with 50mins to


go I begin putting, chipping, hit bunker shots and then onto the range finally before heading to the

The 4 competition days are all dictated by what


tee times you have. With morning tee times you usually get more time in the evenings, so if there

A tournament round of golf usually takes around

is chance and we are close to a city or town then

4 hours 40 minutes (that’s without any weather

I may pop in to have a look around take some

delays). Once the round is finished, I will have a

culture in and maybe do some shopping. The

quick lunch then do a light practice session to put

competition days are very busy and there’s not a

74 June 2014

Photos courtesy Ladies European Tour

lot of time to relax so if there is anytime at all you do try to take advantage whenever you can. Sunday round 4. After the final round on the Sunday it’s time to pack up the golf clubs, check out of the hotel and get to airport. From the airport I will be either traveling to the next event for where the whole week I have described above copies itself, or it’s home for a week of practice and hard work to prepare for the next event on Tour. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and that it has given you a glimpse of what it’s like on The Ladies European tour for 1 week! Lydia Hall @LydiasGolf Editor’s Note: Lydia is a British Masters Champion and winner of the British Masters in August 2012.

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The ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup By Holly Colvin For the first time since I started playing for England in 2005 I was watching an ICC tournament from the other side of the world not from the middle. The tournament has never been hosted in Bangladesh before and I must say from an outsiders point of view they did a fantastic job. The women’s group stages were hosted in Sylhet and no matter who was playing the stadium was rammed. The atmosphere of all these games looked fit for a final; they seem to love their cricket. From what I heard from the girls this really added to the enjoyment of these games and I think these types of crowds is something all countries hosting these global events should strive to achieve.   England’s performance in the tournament was very encouraging. Admittedly they left home with an inexperienced side but it hinted at a really bright future for England cricket. Anya Shrubsole in the absence of 76 June 2014

Photo: Papaya Photography

June 2014 77

Photo: Papaya Photography

Katherine Brunt was the spearhead of the England attack. She became the leading wicket taker with a game to spare, taking a record-breaking number of wickets. In my opinion she completely deserved player of the tournament. Her accurate and late in-swing baffled the top order of many batting line ups and her early wickets were the key to England’s dominance in the group stages. Another player who must not be forgotten is Nat Sciver. She quietly goes about her business and always takes the ball when needed - often at the end of an innings. Still a relatively inexperienced player she finished the tournament as the second highest wicket taker only behind Anya. If you add in her explosive batting and athletic fielding she really is one for the future.  Our spinners in the tournament only had 50 caps between them all from Dani Hazell who consistently kept her end quiet. However, I think Becky Grundy was another player who really stepped up and took on responsibility in her first tour with the squad. Her accuracy was impressive, she had plenty of revs on the ball and 78 June 2014

‘England’s bowling attack led them to the final and I know Lottie will be proud of the team.....’

she took on the daunting task of bowling in the powerplay. She grew in confidence as the tournament went on, and I hope this continues through tours to come. England’s bowling attack led them to the final and I know Lottie will be proud of the team. I also think she will admit that the batting just didn’t fire and cost them the trophy. In the run up to the final they only set a total once and the highest total they had to chase was 133 against the West Indies in a game which they lost. There was a lot of talk about where the batting ‘went wrong’ and most critics pinned it down to lack of six hitting. We were the only team who didn’t manage to hit a single maximum in the tournament. I couldn’t agree more with this theory. England last won the tournament in 2009 and back then we were world leaders in innovation. We were the first team to be paddle sweeping the fast bowlers such as Elyse Perry and reverse sweeping the spinners. The rest of the world has now caught up with us and the women’s game hasPhoto moved on. In order to win this credits: Canada Rugby June 2014 79

Photo credits: Canada Rugby

Photo: Papaya Photography

‘With new contracts announced by the ECB this month, it’s a really exciting time for England Women’s Cricket....’

80 June 2014

tournament you needed not only skill and adaptability with the bat but the ability to clear the ropes too. Australia were worthy winners of the tournament and deserve to be the world leaders in this format. They seemed to have a wellbalanced side with good depth to their batting order and plenty of bowling options with both spin and pace.  Meg Lanning has once again proven she should be the captain of Australia.  She was the leading run scorer in the tournament with an impressive strike rate too.  She seems to bring the best out of her players and her form has even improved with the added responsibility of the captaincy. It will be interesting to see if she takes over the captaincy in all 3 formats.  The ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup was the most unpredictable tournament to date and to me that can only be a promising sign for the global game. Twenty20 cricket is naturally the most volatile form of the game but I still think the upsets and results from this tournament are a testament to the rest of the world catching up with the four or so nations that have dominated women’s cricket until now. For the first time ever South Africa reached a semi-final of an ICC tournament by beating New Zealand who are regulars in reaching that stage. This sudden surge from nations like South Africa in my opinion is down to the professionalism brought to the game by full time contracts, which are now a reality for some of the cricketers. They are now able to train and play pretty much full time and this has brought their game on leaps and bounds. 

Photos: courtesy Southern Stars

With new contracts announced by the ECB this month, it’s a really exciting time for England Women’s Cricket. It will be just the boost they need to allow them to hone their skills and practice everything that needs to be improved if they are to dominate women’s cricket once more.

‘Australia were worthy winners of the tournament and deserve to be the world leaders in this format’ June 2014 81


Uniting the Rugby family

Rugby Spy supports Headley Court; a rehabilitation centre for injured members of the British Armed Forces. Read more about make a pledge in issue 9 of the magazine or see makeapledge.com In difficult economic times, the #MakeAPledge Campaign allows people to get involved and support a charity where they may not have been able to if it was purely a financial contribution being asked of them. To get involved and #MakeAPledge email makeapledge@rugbyspy.com Photos: Vanessa Champion

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Photos: Vanessa Champion

June 2014 83

84 June 2014

Photos: Vanessa Champion

Photos: Vanessa Champion

June 2014 85

Photos courtesy Football Association Ireland

86 June 2014

Méabh De Búrca Republic of Ireland’s

women’s national football team By Rachael Stack Méabh De Búrca is a key part of the Republic of Ireland’s women’s national football team. Méabh a native from Galway currently plays in defence for both her club and country. Méabh signed for hometown Galway WFC in late December after coming home from playing abroad for a number of years. Since coming home Méabh has been chosen as part of the Bus Eireann Women’s National League team of the season and has helped her hometown secure sixth place in their debut season. Prior to coming home to Ireland, Méabh played abroad in Sweden for Eskilstuna United DFF. While at the club both Méabh and Irish defensive partner Louise Quinn played a vital part in the club’s promotion to the Damallsvenskan for the first time. Eskilstuna United won the Elitettan and is now set to play in the top division of women’s football in Sweden against big competitors such as Tyresö FF who are set to play the UEFA Women’s Champions League final on May 22nd vs. Wolfsburg. Méabh also previously played in Norway in 2012 for Amazon Grimstad and in America for Boston Aztec which is the reserve team of the Boston Breakers in the WPSL June 2014 87

league in 2009. We recently caught up with Méabh and got an insight into her football life. Q. In comparison to the leagues you have played in, is the Bus Eireann women’s national league as competitive throughout? The first three years of the league have seen a gap in points at the end of the season between the top two and the rest of the league. With some of the changes that are in the pipeline for next year I don’t see this being the case going forward and I think the league will become even more competitive than it has been.   Q. We spoke prior to you signing for Galway and two players you mentioned to me as being stand out players for the squad are Ruth Fahy and Sinead Taylor. How nice was it to return home and reunite with old team mates and embrace the new faces of the Irish game? It was great to be able to come home and link up with girls I grew up playing with in Galway. Obviously the option wasn’t there to move home prior to last year so I was delighted when I heard that Galway WFC was being formed. There is a lot of talented players coming through the ranks in the county so I think there will be exciting times ahead as we see them develop into quality players.    Q. Having played in both Sweden and Ireland in the past year, what is the major difference between the styles of play? I think the style of play is actually quite 88 June 2014

Photos courtesy Football Association Ireland

similar between the two countries. In Europe it is a very technical game, whereas in America there is more emphasis on strength and athleticism. At club level, I have found football to be more tactical in Sweden and more physical in Ireland.   Q. Ireland has had an extremely impressive run in the past year with a few tough challenges along the way. The most recent against Germany in the FIFA Women’s World cup qualifiers. Unfortunately after leading for most of the game, ye lost 3-2 in the last minute. How did ye prepare for such a strong side?  We used a lot of video analysis in our preparation. Avenir Sports have been supporting the Irish team for a quite a while and have been providing us with top of the range software. We now video every training session as well as matches. We analysed the Germans in detail and were also given individual video clips of ourselves in previous games so that definitely helped in our preparation.  Q. What was it like to play against the World number 2 and current European champions?  It’s always a privilege playing for your country regardless of the opposition. But obviously as a player it is great to be able to test yourself against the best in the world and the Germans continue to set the standards in Europe. The game itself was like a rollercoaster with some exhilarating highs, but ending on a low.     June 2014 89

Have ye learned any lessons after such a defeat? Definitely, it was a heartbreaking defeat. Losing a game in stoppage time after equalising in the 89th minute is very disappointing but also something we discussed in meetings to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Q. Ireland is now sitting 2nd in the qualifying group. Do you think there is something special with this team that ye might make history and be the first Irish women’s team to qualify for a major tournament? I think qualifying for a World Cup is a big ask, given the current structure and qualifying pathway. Europe is by far the strongest continent for women’s football so it is always going to be difficult. Our squad is made up predominately of players in their early/mid twenties. At 25, I am the fifth oldest member of the squad so I think we are definitely growing together and I believe qualifying for Euro 2017 is a realistic target.  Fast Five: 1.   Best team achievement Winning the Senior Irish Cup with Galway and playing in the Champions League.

90 June 2014

Photos courtesy Football Association Ireland

2.    Proudest individual moment My international debut v Holland in 2005 3.    Best player you played with Marit Fiane Christensen 4.     Best player you played against Abby Wambach 5.      Favourite player to watch Gaëtane Thiney Ireland played their latest World Cup qualifier on May 7th against second place contenders Russia. Unfortunately Ireland

Photos courtesy Football Association Ireland

lost 3 -1 on the night but their hopes are still high to secure the play off position. As they seek to take all points in their upcoming qualifiers in June against both Croatia and Russia. We’d like to wish

Méabh and the girls in green the best of luck for this campaign. The future is bright for this young Irish side and we can’t wait to see what awaits them on the main stage.

June 2014 91

Sesame squares Photo: Zac Peatling

Recipes and Tips Recipe Ingredients 140g/5oz butter 2 x T golden syrup 225g/8oz Oats 125g/4oz golden granulated sugar 50g/2oz sesame seeds 50g/2oz sultanas

92 June 2014

Method Heat the oven to 180C/350F Gently melt the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan. Measure all the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix together. Stir in the butter and golden syrup. Press into a greased 9x7in./24x16cm baking tin and bake for 20 minutes. Mark into squares (or bars) while still warm. Leave to cool in the tin until almost cool, then turn out onto a board. Cut into squares and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

“Sesame seeds are a very good source of calcium” Photo: Zac Peatling

Hints The size of the tin doesn’t matter - just use whatever you have, as long as the mixture isn’t too deep or too thinly spread. Marking the squares while warm creates clear lines and makes it easier to cut later; leaving the squares to cool before cutting completely avoids crumbling them (which can happen if you cut them while still warm.) Good-for-you ingredients Sesame seeds are a very good source of calcium; they also provide magnesium, potassium and zinc; protein and iron;

vitamins E and B, especially niacin and folic acid. Sesame seeds are rich in essential fatty acids (EFA’s). Oats contain protein, calcium, and some vitamin E; are a good source of B vitamins, potassium and magnesium. Oats also contain soluble fibre which can reduce cholesterol levels and provide slow-release energy which can help regulate blood sugar and protect against diabetes. By Isa du Toit

Recipes and Tips sponsored by

The haricot bread company Hand-crafted Artisan Bread

June 2014 93

Thank you’s Double digits! So here with our 10th issue I would

for all your hard work and great knowledge of the

this issue but all those who have been involved

updates are amazing and Myroslava for your photos

like to not only thank all the people involved with throughout.

To my mum and dad, without whom this adventure would have not been, to Roger at Digital Forest,

what a legend - the layout and designs wouldn’t be

beautiful game, Adam as always your writing and and videos skills.

Thanks again to everyone for the support, belief and input and here is to the next 10 issues!

the same without you!

To all the athletes who gave their time and shared their stories, to the athletes who have become

friends, to the advertisers who believe in women’s sports, to the readers (without you it’s pointless!)

and to all the governing bodies who have given me such amazing access, thank you.

To Helen West, thanks for all your fantastic nutro

knowledge! To all the contributors regular and ad hoc, your passion, knowledge and support have

been legendary - so thanks to Holly Colvin, Easkey Britton, Adam Barlow, Rachael Stack, Myroslava,

Bethan Cutler, Steve O, Exerformance, Emily Ryall and …….thank you again.

For this issue I would like to thank Lydia Hall for all

your support and input, Anna for your time, Lara for

sharing your adventure, Marcelle as always great fun

to catch up with you! Hannah for your friendship and help over the years, Holly for somehow shoehorning time in to write for us! Kelly and all of the DKHLT for their input and access, it’s been great to be

part of it all. To Steve O thank you for your writing and introduction to another great sport, Rachael

The views and opinions expressed by the writers in this magazine are their own and not necessarily those of Sports International Magazine. © Copyright 2014 Sports International Magazine. All Rights Reserved 94 June 2014




Contact Subscribe free on line: www.issuu.com/sportsinternationalmagazine Keep up to date on our blog: www.sportsinternationalmagazine.com/blog or on twitter: @sportsinternationalmagazine Advertising contact: Adsales@sportsinternationalmagazine.com Editorial contact: Editor@sportinternationalmagazine.com

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