In this week’s Women in Sport Weekly, supported by our partnership with Lidl, we look back on football momentum, menstrual coaching, Women of Influence, Women’s Cricket, Record crowds and more…
CAMPAIGNING FOR FANDOM
Two years ago the FAI delivered a media campaign promoting the Republic of Ireland Women’s team for matches to be played as part of qualifying for next summer’s Euro’s.
Record crowds attended the games at Tallaght Stadium and the foundations of a strong base of support for the team were laid.
This week there has been a sea change in how the games are being promoted with key sponsors stepping up and putting the team front and centre stage.
Billboards are visible in high traffic areas all across Dublin highlighting the ‘Believe’ message of Sky Ireland’s primary partnership with the team.
That was backed up online by takeovers of sport and general media pages by Cadbury with the message that “A Player and a Half Deserves a Glass and a Half of Support.”
Full-page advertising and editorial coverage were spread across the print and online media ahead of tonight’s home tie against Slovakia which will be televised live on RTÉ and will also attract a new record attendance with over 6,000 tickets sold 48 hours in advance.
It was important for the FAI to back the team with a targeted campaign in 2019. It is even more beneficial that this is now being done organically by brands that want to be part of the glow around the team.
We saw the huge positive impact that Lidl’s involvement with Ladies Gaelic Football had and this is now being replicated by brands including Sky, Cadbury, Aviva, Evoke.ie and others getting behind the Women’s National Team.
50 WOMEN OF INFLUENCE LIST CONTINUES TO GROW
Our listing of 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport, in partnership with AIG, continued through the week.
We are now up to 24 and from next week will be adding one more in each of our morning and afternoon bulletins.
Jill Downey, Ruth Fahy, Mary O’Connor, Joanne Cantwell and Moira Aston were this week’s good people to be recognised.
Who do you think we should recognise for their impact on sport?
WHOOP LAUNCHES MENSTRUAL CYCLE COACHING
WHOOP is rolling out Menstrual Cycle Coaching to help people who menstruate better integrate their menstrual cycles into their training and sleeping plans.
Menstrual Cycle Coaching gives insights into how the phases of an individual’s menstrual cycle affect sleep and strain from one day to the next.
The menstrual cycle causes dramatic hormonal shifts throughout the month, producing different physiological responses. In some phases, individuals may be more able to take on strain, work out harder and experience higher gains, while in other phases they may need more sleep.
Women have been historically underrepresented in sports science and research, which makes Whoop’s study of the relationship between the menstrual cycle, hormonal birth control, and recovery in partnership with female physiology and nutrition expert Dr Stacy Sims so interesting.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, uncovered key differences between natural menstrual cycles and hormonal birth controlled menstrual cycles.
Menstrual Cycle Coaching recommends counter-intuitively that maximizing training during a period can have real benefits based on how hormone levels change throughout the month.
That is the time when more testosterone is produced than at any other phase in the cycle. Testosterone supports building muscle and recovery making science make sense for female athletes that have never had access to discussion of their menstrual cycle never mind the science behind how it should be adapted to.
FEARS FOR WOMEN’S CRICKET TEAM IN HARARE
Cricket Ireland has been actively monitoring and engaging in discussions with the ICC and government about the reported new Covid variant in southern Africa and its potential implications for teams participating at the current ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.
The Ireland Women’s cricket team is currently based in Harare, and have played two matches in the Group Stage of the tournament, with their next match scheduled for Monday. After the side’s win yesterday over the Netherlands, it is likely they will progress to the Super 6 round, where matches are currently scheduled for 1st, 3rd and 5th December.
“We are very concerned about the latest developments regarding the reported new Covid variant in Southern Africa,” said Cricketr Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom.
“While the circumstances around travel restrictions and health advice is a fast-moving one, we have been in close contact with the ICC, the Irish government and sports bodies in both jurisdictions to better understand the facts, and to properly inform and reassure the squad leadership.
“Our decision-making will be first-and-foremost based on the health and safety of players and support staff.”
“We will provide updates as soon as we can.”
RECORD CROWD FOR CUP FINAL
It was the largest crowd for a women’s senior domestic football game in the Republic of Ireland and the 3,053 who turned up at Tallaght Stadium witnessed a thriller as Wexford Youths overcame Shelbourne FC to claim the Evoke.ie sponsored trophy for the third time in four years.
Early indications suggest that viewing figures for the game on RTÉ2 are also at an all-time high with more exposure brought to the Cup Final than ever before as EVOKE.ie celebrate their first year as primary sponsors of the competition.
FIVE MILLION VIEWERS FOR WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Over five million viewers have tuned in to the early rounds of the Women’s Champions League on Dazn. Subscription and YouTube numbers have been ahead of expectation, matching the trend evident across the wide range of Women’s Sport.
Show it and it will be watched is the order of the day.
THREE YEARS FROM TURNSTILE TO DRESSING ROOM
Saudi Arabia launched an inaugural women’s football league this week with 16 teams competing.
Only three years ago, Women were still barred from watching matches in Saudi stadia.
On that basis it is progress and maybe the further back you start the faster you have to run.
Each week we carry a Women in Sport Weekly Column, highlighting stories here in Ireland and around the world that are relevant to the idea that we are only catching up to what is happening elsewhere and that while we may be strong in some areas, there are certainly others where we need to prod and poke to ensure fairness.
That’s all, it’s not a takeover, it’s not at the expense of sport that is there already, it is just recognition that sport should be more conscious of its obligation to the 50.5 per cent of the population that has just as much right and talent to play sport as anyone.
If you think there is a story around Women in Sport that we should feature please get in touch and let us know.
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