Is it a Sport?

The South East flourishes when it comes to sport and taking part in physical activity as a whole.

In Ireland, 66% of people under the age of 25 take part in sport, according to the 2017 Sports Monitor.

Debbie Ridgard, presenter of SportsBeat, delved into the world of ‘non-recognised sports’ in Ireland, those not called official sports by Sport Ireland and those often not given their dues in general.

In order to be classed as a recognised sport in Ireland activities have to meet the criteria of the Sport Ireland Act 2015 with a National Governing Body that abides by rules set out.

As mentioned in the Sport Ireland Act 2015, recreational sport refers to “all forms of physical activity, which through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being and at forming social relationships” while a competitive sport is “‘all forms of physical activity which, through organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and at obtaining improved results in competition at all levels”.

This short sports feature, called “Is it a Sport?” looks at these sporting activities across the South East.


Episode 01: Kettlebell Sport

Clara O’Connor is a silver meddalist in the Kettlebell Sport and runs the Rosslare Kettlebell Club near Rosslare Strand.

Here, she talks about the sport and its appearance within Irish sporting circles.

Episode 02: Mixed Martial Arts

Colin Meagher is a well-recognised member of John Kavanagh’s MMA team.

When he’s not training in Dublin, he runs Straight Blast Gym Clonmel.

He speaks about MMA as a sport and the fact that it’s not recognised in Ireland.

Episode 03: Irish Dancing 

Irish Dancing is one of the things Ireland is most known for around the world but so often dancers aren’t appreciated for the skill and dedication associated with it as a sport.

The final product is what is seen by those not involved in Irish dancing; the glitz, the glam, the wigs, the dresses and not the countless hours of training and learning new routines for competitions.

Gillian Norris from Waterford is one of the elite in Irish dancing circles.

Dancing out of Higgins Academy in Waterford, she competed in All-Irelands and World Championships, not to mention being cast as a lead in Lord of the Dance alongside Michael Flatley.

Gillian speaks about the hard-work and dedication associated with the world of dance.

Episode 04: Crossfit

Maurice Walshe runs Crossfit MPT in Kilkenny.

As an avid Crossfit athlete he sees the athleticism associated with the sporting activity.

Maurice chats about getting into the sport as well as some of the tough battles you might face taking part.

Episode 05: IT Carlow

Donal McNally is the head of Sport at IT Carlow and a member of Student Sport Ireland.

He sees first-hand the increase in people across the South East taking up non-traditional sports and the rise in demand for amenities associated with them.

SportsBeat looks to highlight clubs and societies across the South East through the feature Club Focus.

Contact Debbie Ridgard through this form and we could be heading to your club or society.

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