‘Enthusiastic coaches made training sessions fun and competitive’
Name: Rachel Sawyer
Sport: Ladies football and camogie
Clubs: Old Leighlin and Naomh Bríd
Earliest sporting memory: Playing with Old Leighlin basketball club from a young age. Grateful to have had some really enthusiastic coaches who made training sessions fun and competitive. Playing primary school sport for Scoil Molaise is another highlight, walking down to the pitch for trainings and matches.
Memorable sporting moments: Winning two senior county football titles and a Leinster championship with Old Leighlin, being a part of the Carlow All-Ireland Premier Junior-winning camogie team in 2016, winning the Purcell Cup with Maynooth University camogie club in 2019 and our secondary school’s basketball All-Ireland with PDLS was a memorable journey.
Biggest influence on career: My parents, for always being supportive and honest. Growing up they never missed a game of mine or my sisters. My dad would always find time in the evenings after his day’s work, to come out for a game of any sport. My mam was always designated driver and without (too many) complaints.
Sporting hero: Mary Smyth. Growing up we always heard stories of how great a player Mary was. At Naomh Bríd we were very lucky to have her as a coach for our underage years. Always passionate and encouraging fair play. She continues to inspire people in Naomh Bríd and people around the county.
Most difficult opponent: Naomh Ciaran of Ferbane, Offaly, were a top-class football team we faced with Old Leighlin last year. There is a lot to learn from them.
If I could turn back the clock: The All Ireland semi-final 2017 with the Carlow ladies football team. We lost to Derry by a point. Opportunities like that don’t come around very often. It is one that got away.
Your favourite holiday: It is never easy to fit in holidays in our house with many sports on the go between me and my sisters. But our family trip to Paris last April really stands out.
Memories outside sport: Many secondary school memories, family gatherings, trips with friends, as far as Toronto last year, all great memories.
Three people you would bring to dinner (not family): Briege Corkery, Tom Barr and Lewis Capaldi.
What would be heaven for you: A club All-Ireland. An All-Ireland with Carlow in Croke Park. But mostly to be able to say we reached our full potential and enjoyed every step.