Women in Sport Week

Welcome to Vision Sports’ celebrations for Women in Sport Week and International Women’s Day 2022. Join us for the week ahead as we showcase five female ambassadors and leaders in their sporting fields to celebrate female strength, talent and achievement.  

#BreakTheBias #WomenInSportIRE #WISWeek2022

Day 1: Visibility – Joan, Co. Galway

Photo of woman sitting on chair reaching down to her right foot in a stretch position.

Introducing Joan from Co Galway.

Read Joan’s profile below:

Favourite Type of Sport/ Exercise: Over 50’s Movement Balance & Stretch

Tell us about how you first got involved:

In early 2021 I attended a Zoom ‘Living with sight loss’ course run by Fighting Blindness where Padraig and Sara of Vision Sports Ireland were guest speakers at one of the sessions. I was delighted to hear about the physical  activities that Vision Sports provided so I registered straight away for the Zoom Over 50s Movement Balance and Stretch and yoga sessions. I have found that participating in weekly sessions has strengthened and tightened my muscles which are prone to weakness and fatigue. It  has also had great mental health benefits for me, particularly during the pandemic when the country was locked down.  The exercise helped me to focus my mind on something positive.

Why do you think it’s important that women participate in sport and exercise?

Regular exercise is considered important for bone strength and health, especially for older women. I have found that doing a regular exercise routine has helped me in my dealings with osteoporosis, made me more agile and improved my bone density.

What is your top tip to get involved in sport?

Get involved with Vision Sports Ireland because they have a variety of activities available outdoors or indoors. I have  muscle fatigue and visual & hearing impairment so outdoor exercise wasn’t an option for me and I’m delighted that I get the support to keep active.

Day 2: Leadership and Governance – Emma, Co. Dublin

Vision Sports is thrilled to introduce Emma from Co Dublin as our next Women in Sport Champion. During the week you’ll either find Emma speeding around on her tandem bike, or scaling the walls as a thrill seeking rockclimber. Emma is also one of Vision Sports’ Youth Leaders for 2022.

Check out the short video below to hear Emma share her insights about why she loves sport and why she thinks it’s important for women to get involved.


Day 3 – Active Participation – Jenny and Josie, Co. Offaly

Photo of two women with their arms crossed smiling for the photo with a tandem bike in background.

Introducing Jenny and Josie, Co Offaly’s most enthusiastic tandem cycling stokers, who embody the give-it-a-go attitude we celebrate here at Vision Sports.

Whilst both Jenny and Josie both lead extremely busy lives, they will be the first to speak of the benefits of exercise, and the rave about the positive impact that tandem cycling and being involved in their local cycling club, Tullamore Cycling & Touring Club, has had on their lives.

Tune in below to hear their conversation about the importance of getting started and how to make the first steps into a new sporting hobby.


A special thanks also to Tom O’Hanlon Photography for filming and production of this video.

Day 4 –  Coaching and Officiating – Treacy Percy, Co Laois

Vision Sports Ireland relies on coaches, officials and volunteers like Treacy to support us in the national delivery of sporting, physical activity and leisure opportunities. Today we would like to recognise all of our strong female coaches, volunteers and officials, and say a big thank you for all your hard work and dedication. We can’t do what we do, without you!

Vision Sports would like to introduce one of our most enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, Treacy from Co Laois:


My name is Treacy Percy, I live and work in Portlaoise. I am an active volunteer for Vision Sports and Special Olympics I also assist the Local Sports Partnership.

Favourite sport?

My favourite sports range from athletics to kayaking and swimming.

Why do you think it’s important that women participate in sport and exercise?

I believe sports and exercise are so important for women and young girls as it gives you the freedom to set goals and achieve them. The beauty of sport is you don’t have to run 10k in 30mims you can call a friend and go for a walk or a swim or jump on a bike and have a catch up. I volunteer because our athletes achievements are down to the head work of all the team.

What is your top tip for getting involved in sport?

My top tip for women in sport is get involved weather it’s becoming an athlete or a volunteer believe me your life will be so much better for it. I am proud to say I am a visually impaired athlete and volunteer.

Photo of woman smiling.

Day 5: Leadership – Sara McFadden

For our final day of celebrations, Vision Sports would like to introduce you again to a familiar face, Sara McFadden. Many of you may have heard about Sara before as a champion rally co-driver and female leader in motorsport, and recipient of many awards such as Mayo Young Person of the Year in 2019, and a Sports Scholarship to IT Sligo to study Sport and Business. In 2021, Sara joined the Vision Sports team for her university placement and we are thrilled that she has stayed on with us since!

This week, Sara also made motorsport history being offered one of only three places on Motorsport Ireland Elite Co-Driver Academy. You can read more about that here: https://www.motorsportireland.com/Public/MI_News/2022/Co-Driver-Academy-22.aspx

A huge congratulations to Sara on her achievements, we can’t wait to see what comes next!

Check out Sara’s interview with Vision Sports below:

Introduce yourself – name/county, achievements
My name is Sara Mc Fadden, I am a 20-year-old rally Co-Driver from Co. Mayo and in 2018, I became the first person with a vision impairment to compete in Irish rallying.

My biggest sporting achievement to date is making the Motorsport Ireland Elite Co-Driver Academy in March 2022.

Favourite form of sport/physical exercise
Motorsport… well Rallying to be exact, Since I was a child, rallying has been No.1 for me. Growing up I got to watch my mum and dad compete and once I was old enough, I was lucky enough to get to start competing as a Co-Driver, 

What do you like about your sport?
The community and the fact that males and females compete on a level playing field,

Sport has a very special ability to connect people and I believe rallying stands out from the crowd in this regard. I have played a lot of sport throughout the years, but I have never experienced the level of comradery that is involved in rallying. People who are involved in Irish rallying are often referred to as “the rallying family” and this is so fitting as you are guaranteed a hello from everyone you meet at an event and everyone will help each other out when you need it, biggest rivals or not.

Rallying also provides competitors with a very special opportunity in that, it and horse racing are the only sports that males and females compete on a level playing field with no special treatment of inequalities.

Why do you think it is important that women participate in sport/exercise?

Its pretty easy to say that I am an advocate for women to partake in sport considering my entire life basically revolves around sport, I compete, work and study in the sports sector so it takes up almost 100% of my time. I think sport is imperative for women, it offers you the opportunity to stay active, improve your health, but what I believe is most important of all, it offers you the opportunity to connect and make friends with people who have the same interests as you, sport has literally helped me to make best friends for life.

Top tip top to get involved in sport:

Rallying was the sport that I always wanted to compete in, and I did, but I firmly believe that everyone has something that they want to get involved in and you should let nothing stand in your way from achieving that.

Photo of girl in rally car smiling.

Thank you for joining us to celebrate Vision Sports’ Women in Sport Week for 2022.

As always, if you are interested in taking part in sport, physical activity and leisure opportunities, have a question, or just don’t know where to get started, get in contact with us via visionsports@ncbi.ie !

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