The importance of sport in my life

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By Deniese O’Flaherty

 

Sport has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up I watched various sports on television, went to games as a supporter and when in secondary school I decided I wanted to go into Sports Broadcasting/Journalism. Through sport I also met some great people and a lot of them I now call ‘friends’.

During lockdown I’ve been in contact with a lot of people I hadn’t spoken to in a long time; I think covid has made me stop and realise what and who are important in my life.

When I announced I had a new sports podcast coming out next month I received messages from friends who knew people I should contact, I also reached out to a few people and they went above and beyond in getting numbers for me.

Chatting to a friend the other day we mentioned how important sport is to us. I always say my job is like a hobby. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I get the opportunity to interview someone I admire or cover big games.

Even now during covid sport is helping me through the extended lockdown. Most evenings I’d sit down and watch some sort of game on the tv. From the Leinster game last Friday to the Leeds Utd game on Tuesday night I was watching sport each day. It definitely has kept me sane and the same can be said for a number of people I know; especially people that have been cocooning.

On Saturday evening last I sat down and watched a young lad from Longford come so close to claiming the Irish 800 metre indoor title. Cian McPhillips was beaten by the experienced Mark English in a photo finish. To say we are proud of Cian is an understatement. Longford hasn’t had too much success as a county when it comes to sport but we have an exceptional talent in Cian and also swimmer Darragh Greene who is going to the Olympics.

Sport gives me a feeling of belonging and identity. I follow teams across the water and love different sports but when someone represents my club (GAA or soccer), county, or country there is a connection. In terms of international sport I love how the country unities as one to cheer on the boys/girls in green.

I’ve experienced lots of highs and lows in sport and at times have had a complicated relationship but my love will never waiver.