Ayesha McFerran is the Irish Women’s Hockey team first-choice goalkeeper and is recognised as among the very best in the World.

Her exploits on the pitch have been of the highest order playing a starring role in Ireland’s making it to a World Cup Final in 2019, the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 and just recently to the World Cup again to be played in 2022.

This past year she has expanded her own personal brand signing up as a Red Bull athlete alongside continuing her professional career in Holland.

She has also opened up to talk about the death of her mother at the age of 14 and being brought through her teenage years in foster care before heading to the University of Louisville on a sports scholarship.

Influence comes in many forms and the ability to reach out to young children in similar situations and show a path towards things being OK again is as important as it gets for them.

Each year we commit to bringing 30 per cent of new influential women onto this list and McFerran deserves her place among them this year.


Check out the others who have so far joined the list right here.




This is the ninth edition of our Sport for Business listing of 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport.

We are proud to do so this year with a new partner in AIG, an organisation that have pledged their commitment to equality in their partnerships with Gaelic Games, Tennis, Golf and more, for whom “Effort is Equal” and with whom we have ambitious plans to extend the reach of this annual celebration of the Women who are making a difference.

They are drawn as before from the worlds of leadership, partnership, storytelling and performance.

We began this journey in 2013 when challenged that we would never be able to produce a list of twenty Influential Women in Irish Sport. The 20 stretched to 30, then 40 and 50 and it still does not do justice to the talent that is out there.

This year once more, to keep things fresh we will introduce at least 30 per cent of fresh names from last year. That will be the hardest part to have some names replaced but if it was too easy it would be of less value.

The list we will build over the coming weeks is a snapshot of those women who are making a mark on how sport is played, consumed, grown and delivered.

They are part of making the role of women in sport unexceptional by being exceptional in what they do.

Recognition of their contribution is rarely asked for but is fully deserved, and we want your help in identifying those who you feel should be among them.

We will start to publish the first of this year’s list on Sport for Business next week, and share them for all across social media in parallel.

So, who do you think should be on the list for 2021?


“A powerful and influential network of information and collaboration”


Download our latest membership brochure here.

Sport for Business Partners