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Connacht Tribune

Frustration for basketballers as season may be wiped out

Keith Kelly

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Moycullen Men's Super League head coach, John Cunningham.

GALWAY’S five national league sides have all but resigned themselves to the 2020/21 national season being scrapped in its entirety, and they have expressed frustration and disappointment that the elite sport status they were initially granted was soon rescinded, unlike the teams that compete nationally in soccer, rugby, and GAA.

Basketball Ireland was the first sporting body to call an immediate cessation of activities back in March: even before the country went into its first lockdown that month, the game’s governing authority had announced that the matches scheduled for the weekend of Sunday, March 15 were postponed.

It later announced an end to the 2019/20 season, which was close to completion anyway – both regular women’s season had been completed, while there were one and three rounds remaining in the Men’s Super League and Division One respectively.

Details of a somewhat pared-back 2020/21 season were announced in July, but that never got off the ground and not a single competitive basketball game at any level has been played since that March shutdown, with Basketball Ireland announcing last month that the league season had been suspended, but the hope was that the national cup competitions would go ahead.

Now, giving the level of Covid-19 figures in the country, especially since Christmas, local clubs are admitting that even that small glimmer of hope for a return to the courts before the summer is unlikely.

“I don’t see a return to basketball until March/April at the earliest,” says NUIG Mystics head coach, Paul O’Brien.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Wisdom, fun and hope in online yoga community

Judy Murphy

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'Elemental and wacky', Ciara's advice is that movement and listening to your body are more important than achieving a perfect pose. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle – Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh and her partner Josef run the Nádúir Holistic Centre in Furbo, which is normally busy with therapists and students. After life changed last year, the experienced yoga teacher learned new skills so she could create her a daily online practice that’s available to everybody, either free or for a nominal cost. It’s aimed at building resilience, health and hope, she tells JUDY MURPHY.

Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh laughs as she recalls a comment she made to her partner, Josef, last February about needing “a bit more rock and roll” in her life.  It wasn’t that she was idle. Far from it. But Ciara, who teaches yoga and tango as well as being a massage therapist who practises and teaches Cranio-sacral Bio-dynamics, had a yen to go travelling. While she’s not someone who makes grand plans, she was working towards making that happen when everything changed in March.

“Now look at me.” She laughs again as she gestures around the massage room at Nádúir, the holistic centre that she and Josef run in Furbo. Located on a leafy boreen off the Galway-Spiddal road, it’s a gorgeous, peaceful place where she conducts yoga classes in non-Covid times. But foreign climes it ain’t.

Yet, Ciara has broadened her reach enormously since March and in ways she could never have imagined back then. Like most yoga teachers, she quickly moved her regular classes to the online video-conferencing app, Zoom, and that’s been working fine.

But she’s done way more than that.

“I love working really hard and connecting,” explains this elemental, smart, funny woman.

“I was looking for something to excite and energise me, to challenge me to do something at the end of my comfort zone, to teach myself new skills.”

So, in August, Ciara began offering daily 20-minute yoga sessions on YouTube and Facebook and she’s continued to offer them every month, with a different monthly theme, such as ‘Connect’ or ‘Strength’. ‘Flow’ is January’s focus.

This unique teacher who has been practising yoga for three decades, is now building an online community who love the wholesome, humorous, wise take on life which she brings to her daily practice.

People who sign up are asked to pay €10 a month, to ‘subscribe for sustainability’.  Afterwards, it all remains online, freely available to anyone anywhere who has the internet.

Ciara and her sister Sinéad, who helps with administration, thought carefully about what to charge, before embracing the model of US yoga teacher Adriene Mishler who has millions of followers and offers many of her classes for free.

Ciara’s aim is that her sessions are affordable for people, while creating some income for Sinéad and herself – vital, given that Nádúir has lost practically all its revenue streams since March.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Mulkerrins adopts a pragmatic stand as finals off

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Moycullen's Martin Mulkerrins on his way to winning the All-Ireland 60x30 senior softball title in July of 2019.

By Ivan Smyth

NATIONAL champion Martin Mulkerrins isn’t shocked that the World Handball Championships due to take place in Dublin later this year have been cancelled.

“To be honest I wasn’t surprised when I heard the news. It is understandable and in the current climate there is uncertainty over where the country will be in a few months.”

The World Championships take place every three years with Mulkerrins reaching the final of the 40×20 event in 2018, eventually losing out to Killian Carroll in the decider.

“I was excited for it this year with the last two World Championships not being in Ireland. I love travelling so with the 2018 Worlds taking place in Minnesota and Canada hosting it in 2015, I had the opportunity to travel and play.”

“I think every handballer was looking forward to playing in the new National Handball Centre in Croke Park, but I’m sure the powers that be are working on alternative arrangements when it’s safe to play.”

“It’s still promising to see that facility being built and shows that things are looking up for the sport despite not much action on the courts recently.”

The handball season is split into three main codes – 40×20, 60×30 and One-Wall (recently rebranded as wallball). In terms of coverage and crowds, the 40×20 Championships are the brand leader.

Last year the coronavirus pandemic caused the handball calendar to be turned upside down with the Moycullen man still waiting to play the 2020 All-Ireland 40×20 senior singles final against Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy.

That final was initially due to be played on March 21 of last year but handball alleys across the land were forced to shut down the week beforehand due to the coronavirus. When action resumed, GAA Handball opted to play the 60×30 Championships from the beginning instead of concluding the 40×20 Championships.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Galway start-up’s €3m investment

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Investment...Orreco CEO Dr. Brian Moore.

Galway-headquartered sports performance and data science company Orreco will scale its operations in Ireland, the United States and UK following a €3 million investment round led by Silicon Valley-based venture firm True Ventures.

The new investment will enable the Galway company to expand its product, engineering, data science and commercial teams, in addition to accelerating the development of its elite performance solutions, @thlete and FitrWoman.

Up to 30 new hires will be made across the company’s offices in Ireland, the UK, and the U.S., specifically Galway and Los Angeles where Orreco operates a performance centre. The company currently employs 30 people.

Its performance centres provide sports science and data solutions for professional sports teams and athletes including the US basketball NBA sides the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks, NBA Champion and All-Star Pascal Siakam, English Premier League side Newcastle United and WSL club Chelsea FC Women, USA Swimming, and the Wasserman Sports Agency (Los Angeles).

Top golfers Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell became investors after experiencing the benefits of Orreco’s services first-hand.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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