Name: Kate Nolan
Teams represented: Myshall, Carlow and Maynooth University.
Any big memories from teenage years:
– The first time I suffered an injury, I broke my foot. My biggest worry was having to go to the county dinner dance in a cast.
– First time togging out for my club team at senior level. I was only 14 and loved every minute of it.
– Finishing school, getting accepted to college and then the transition into college.
Who influenced you growing up?
My parents. My father spent relentless evenings outside with us hitting the ball off the wall. My mother then always reminded me about the importance of sportsmanship and that camogie was a great opportunity to meet friends. She had us warned to shake hands with the other team after matches and never let sports influence any friendships I had with players from other teams.
What changed as a teenager / through your playing career?
A lot of my friends quit camogie as teenagers. I used to find this hard to understand because I loved it so much. They had different interests at the time and that was fair enough. Playing with Borris Vocational School definitely had a huge impact on my playing career. It gave me an opportunity to further develop existing friendships and meet loads of new people from different counties.
Describe yourself as a 16 year old:
Really outgoing. I was in transition year in school so I really enjoyed the social aspect of school. I loved sport back then as I do now. While I did play camogie, I used to enjoy different sports also i.e. basketball, athletics.
How you have changed?
My priorities in life are different. I have gone from being carefree to now being very focused and determined. I know exactly what I want to achieve in sport, education, my career and life in general. One thing is particular to me that has changed is my awareness of gender inequalities especially in sport. As a 16 year old playing camogie I just accepted the lack of recognition of women’s sport. I aim to challenge this more now and hopefully see change.
Any defining moments / peoples / matches in your playing career?
– When it comes to people that defined my playing career it would have to be Orla Bambury, our school trainer. She never once doubted our ability as players. Her commitment to the team while balancing her own life was very challenging but she did a great job.
– One match that will forever be a defining moment for me as a player would be the Division 3 league final in 2015. It was as result of very hard work by both the team and the management. It allowed us to move up a division and have a chance against teams that we may never have imagined playing against.
Typical weekly schedule:
Monday: College training/ gym session, Tuesday: County Pitch session, Wednesday: College training, Thursday: County gym session, Friday: County Pitch Session, Sunday: County pitch session.
Favourite Manager(s), and why?:
Mark Brennan – Understanding of players, great knowledge of the modern game, see’s potential in players and works hard to get the best out of them, puts an emphasis on team bonding and understands the importance.
Sporting Hero: Rena Buckley.
Funniest thing to ever happen: At football training one night I kicked the football from behind the goal and it hit the crossbar and came back and hit me in the face. Wasn’t quite that funny for me but it was for people who seen it.
Favourite team mate/player: Marian Doyle – One of the most honest players I have ever played with, hardworking and can be reassured that she is giving 100% to the team on and off the pitch.
One rule you would like to change: Not quite sure. I would like to see a regulation of pitches introduced and enforced. Literally just that the pitches are of good quality and properly marked.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given: ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’
Favourite interest away from GAA: I am very interested in gender equality, something that I am very passionate about. I absolutely love skiing also whenever I get to go.
Three words other people would use to describe you: Clumsy, talkative and argumentative.
What are you most proud of so far (on or off the field!): To date my proudest achievement is winning WGPA/ Camogie association’s inaugural Juniors players’ player of the year. Winning the Division National 3 league this year with Carlow was also unforgettable; it was a huge stepping-stone in my career. Off the field simply getting a place in college was a huge thing for me. I may have put myself under too much pressure when doing the leaving cert so it was a huge relief.