Sport for Business, in partnership with Liberty Insurance, has begun the publication of our annual list of the 50 Most Influential Women in Irish Sport.
This is not about Women’s sport, it is about the influence that women are wielding across all sport. We will identify leaders on and off the field of play. They will include those who are role models in terms of their abilities on and off the field of play. They will come from teams and individual sports, from sponsorship partners, from the media, from the administrative corridors of power and from places where influence may be subtle but no less powerful.
If Cora Staunton was a man there would be statues built of her in every corner of the country. There should be regardless.
Two weeks ago she was the star of the show, kicking the winning point as the clock ticked down on the first Lidl Ladies Football National League game to be played at Croke Park.
At the age of 35 she is entering into her 23rd season of competitive action for Mayo, a record unlikely ever to come close to being beaten. She made her senior inter county debut at the age of 13 and has won four All Ireland titles for her County as well as five for her club Carnacon.
Hers is an astonishing level of competition but also of sheer talent. She holds ten All Star Awards and also plays to a high standard in soccer and rugby.
As a role model for sticking with sport and inspiring those around her and those following her into the team she is without compare.
Sky Sports recognised this when inviting her to become an ambassador for their Living for Sport initiative, a role she combines with her day job as a liaison officer with the HSE.
She is also a regular contributor to events aimed at encouraging sport at every level and recently took part in a Mayo Sports partnership gathering to discuss the place in sport of young girls and in a history talk as part of the St Patricks Festival in Dublin.
She’s some woman for one women and deserving of being the first athlete to join our list of the Most Influential Women in Irish Sport in 2017.
For 2017 we are extending the recognition given to women who are taking a lead role in sport by also identifying 50 of the next generation that are coming through, at pace, to make their mark within sport.
We want your help in making sure that this list is representative and you can make your nominations for who you think should be included right here.