'You like to think that you've made a difference and helped one or two girls' 2 weeks ago

'You like to think that you've made a difference and helped one or two girls'

Laura Twomey can remember who her role models were when she first came down to Naomh Mearnog GAA club in Portmarnock.

The Dublin vice-captain has been involved with the county's senior Camogie team since she was 17-years-old and she remarks how the team has changed over the years with an influx of talent and technology with the increasing use of video analysis.

Dublin have more tools available than ever with men's senior footballer Philly McMahon recently joining the team as a Strength & Conditioning coach.

Twomey appreciates the advancements the team and management have made over the years but she also thinks fondly of those that came before her and inspired her to play the game in the first place.

"When I started our parents would have been involved in a lot of different sports clubs but we had a lot of different role models ourselves," said Twomey.

"My two sisters and I went down to our club and there were a lot of girls there that would have encouraged us to keep coming back and having something to aspire to make the senior team.

"I just found it really engaging and rewarding. One player that would have always been around was Catriona Power.

"She always gave back hugely to the club and sometimes you don't see local players around your county area, and that's changing now, but even back then when she was playing for Dublin she was always back and taking training sessions and encouraging us.

"Louise O'Hara would have been the same and I suppose you don't really think about it when you're coaching kids but it kind of does come full circle."

Twomey, who has a PhD in Molecular Exercise Physiology and was a lecturer at DCU in Sports Science and Health and Physical Education courses, is now on the other side and is helping out with some coaching at the Manor School in Raheny. 

She likes helping out at various schools to try and encourage young girls in the same way that Power and O'Hara would have inspired her at one point in time and she thinks that she might be able to make a difference.

"You do like to think that you might be able to make a difference with one or two of the kids and help them stay on," added Twomey.

"It doesn't have to be at an elite level or intercoutny or anything like that but if I can encourage girls to keep in sport then that's satisfying for me.

"I'm teaching at our school at the moment but I just want to get out there to some different secondary schools and promote the 20x20 campaign because the drop out rate for girls in sport is quite high and we're trying to improve that.

"It's definitely a rewarding experience."