“I thought it was so cool even the boys are afraid to fight her” – Emer O’Neill on her childhood karate lessons with Katie Taylor

TV presenter and PE teacher Emer O’Neill said Katie Taylor has been breaking down barriers in sports since she was a child.

He former Irish international basketball player said Taylor inspired young people across the country and “changed women’s boxing for the whole world”.

O’Neill and Taylor grew up in the same housing development in Bray, Co. Wicklow and took karate lessons together. She recalled how Taylor was already breaking down barriers at that early age.

“We actually grew up in the same town, I lived on the same estate as them when I was a toddler, and we actually did karate together when we were like eight, nine, ten,” she said.

“I remember we were mixed boys and girls when sparring and there was always this girl everyone was scared of and that’s Katie Taylor. I’ll never forget that I used to think it was so cool that even the boys are afraid to fight it.

“Even as a child, she broke down barriers for other girls and women. We had so many great representatives between Kellie (Harrington) and Ellen (Keane), it was so amazing because not only are they exceptional athletes but they are really good people.

“You stand for good things and as a parent you take pride in the fact that your children look up to you in every way. Coming full circle with Katie Taylor, just a good person who has never let her down through all her years in the spotlight.

“I just think you couldn’t ask for a better mentor for the Irish girls, really a better heroine, because that’s what she is.”

O’Neill said the lightweight world champion inspired her to take up boxing many years ago, when Taylor was just beginning her career.

“I remember when she first fought when she really became a household name I actually lived in the States and I remember getting up at 3am to see the fight and I just remember , I was like, ‘Oh my god, that woman is just amazing’ and it really inspired me, I was like I had to box and two weeks later I joined a boxing club.

O’Neill brings together nine teenage girls in a new RTÉ series entitled Go onwhich delves into the complex reasons why so many young girls give up the sport.

She said it’s crucial for young girls to find a passion and realize how powerful they are to shed all feelings of self-doubt.

O’Neill said the series will focus on the pressures Ireland’s young women are facing today. Over half of girls who play sport in Ireland drop out by the age of 14.

With over 12 years of experience teaching physical education, she said one of the main reasons is a lack of confidence and a feeling of not being good enough.

“I’ve taught in all girls’ schools and mixed schools, elementary and secondary, and something that strikes me a lot across the board is the decline in girls’ participation in physical education and sports,” she said.

“Throughout my career I’ve tried to keep girls in sports after school, I’ve coached the basketball teams and the track teams and I’ve tried to keep them motivated and stick with it and have good experiences and be treated the same as their peers when it comes to getting nice gear or going traveling and competing.

“It would just be so heartbreaking because after all their hard work in freshmen and sophomores, third year would come and so many of the girls would stop acting because of exams.”

The mother-of-two said the series hopes to address any negative stigma girls have about sports. The six-part series is directed, directed and cast by an all-female crew.

“The whole idea of ​​the show is to teach the girls that they’re so much more capable than they think they are,” she said.

“To try to remove some of the negative stigma they’ve encountered over the course of their short lives, things like ‘you throw like a girl’, ‘you catch like a girl’ and ‘boys are better at that than girls’ ‘ .

“Seeing their growth over the course of the show has been just incredible as you can just see some of the girls really coming out of themselves and in terms of the language they would use when talking about themselves in sport, always so negative.

“And to see them succeed and gain that confidence and confidence in what their bodies can do is just an amazing experience unfolding.”

O’Neill said it’s important for young girls to have role models and someone who motivates them to keep going. She said exercise and sport are like a “universal language.”

“We have such amazing female athletes all around us and whether you make a career out of it is a small thing, but for me and for the girls it’s more about helping them find something they can call passion or.” a love of something,” she said.

“When I was 12 I thought I sucked at sports and luckily someone had faith in me and pushed me to keep going and play basketball and gave me a chance but without that I probably wouldn’t have continued playing sports, because I didn’t feel like I was very good at it.”

Go on starts Tuesday 3 May at 5pm on RTÉ Two & RTÉ Player.

https://www.independent.ie/news/i-thought-thats-so-cool-even-the-lads-are-afraid-to-fight-her-emer-oneill-on-childhood-karate-lessons-with-katie-taylor-41608025.html “I thought it was so cool even the boys are afraid to fight her” – Emer O’Neill on her childhood karate lessons with Katie Taylor

Fry Electronics Team

Fry Electronics.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@fry-electronics.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button