Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media

Governance in Irish Athletic Boxing Association: Discussion

Photo of Christopher O'SullivanChristopher O'Sullivan (Cork South West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I want to tell Mr. Treacy about an incredible athlete we have in west Cork. Her name is Anaïs O'Donovan. She is not related to the rowing O'Donovans. She is a freestyle kayaker. She is 21. She has only been at the sport for just over a year but is already one of the top athletes in Europe. She featured very highly in the European championships. She has had to go to the UK to avail of the training facilities there. Even though it is affiliated with Canoeing Ireland and even though there are world and European championships, freestyle kayaking is not recognised as an Olympic sport. Anaïs O'Donovan is one of the shining lights globally in freestyle kayaking. I encourage everybody to check out the sport because it is incredible what these athletes can do in a kayak. It is best explained as gymnastics in a kayak.

Fringe sports that are not, or not yet, Olympic sports really struggle to get funding, particularly from Sport Ireland. Anaïs O'Donovan, whom we have to encourage and help and whose talent and success we have to embrace, has nowhere to go. Could Sport Ireland step up to the mark and give her a bit of guidance as to where to go for funding for training and equipment? The most experienced freestyle kayakers could not believe the success she had using the equipment she used when featuring at the European championships. It was so old and out of date but she was still successful. Can we do something for her?


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.