Tonight Cork camogie star Amy O’Connor will be leaving her hurl at home, and instead will be dawning a glamorous look at the 2017 Camogie All-Star Awards. The talented half-forward has never won the coveted accolade before, but this could be her year.
After scoring 2 points in the All-Ireland Final back in September, Amy contributed to Cork’s win over Kilkenny in Croke park, making it Cork’s 27th time to hold the title.
Amy’s teammates make up 11 of the 45 nominations, and the 21-year-old is looking forward to expressing her style and celebrating the honour at this evening’s event.
How does it feel to be nominated for an All-Star award?
“It’s a huge honour to be nominated for an All-star. It’s brilliant especially for my family and my club.”
This is the first year of a Camogie All-Star tour, how does this make you feel?
“Finally, women are getting a bit of the credit they deserve! It really is a bit frustrating to think that this is the first tour and it’s 2017. It’s great to see. It’s a bit of history I suppose! The men’s All-Star teams get to go on extravagant holidays every year, something which doesn’t happen in the camogie.
Similarly, the men’s teams that win the All-Ireland get to go on a team holiday for winning, which is all paid for. We do not have this luxury and have to fundraise ourselves. We put in just as much effort as our male counterparts but unfortunately it’s just not recognised as much as theirs. This tour seems to be a turning point and for the people that are lucky enough to go, I know that it will be very enjoyable and a great experience.”
Do you look forward to getting dressed up for the event, and have you an interest in style yourself?
“Yeah, I’m really looking forward to getting dressed up. I love wearing fake tan and getting my hair and make-up done! I also love looking at different styles of different celebrities and bloggers, especially on Instagram. I don’t get dressed up too often, particularly during the season but when I do, I love it. I’m a big fan of bright colours but at the same time I love seeing the darker tones coming in for winter.”
What do you like to wear, off the pitch?
“As I’m studying pharmacy, we are required to wear ‘professional dress’ a lot of the time. At the moment I’m looking forward to winter fashion. I have a little obsession with jackets so this is the perfect time of year for me, especially because I’m always cold and it gives me a great excuse to wear big jackets! Another thing I love during winter is being able to wear boots. I picked up a couple of new pairs recently so I’m looking forward to wearing them.
“Not all people are but I’m a big fan of leather, I like leather jackets and I feel like they can be casual but at the same time they can really dress up an outfit. You’d often find me in a pair of jeans. I particularly love high-waisted jeans and I love having a nice belt which would compliment them. It would depend really on where I was going. If I was going out to a party or an event or something I love wearing a dress and heels. Tracksuits obviously take up a good bit of my wardrobe at home as well!”
Any favourite brands?
“I have loads! I love Michelle Keegan’s new range. I’d be a big fan of hers anyway but i think her new range is gorgeous. She can really make the ‘professional’ look very stylish! I also have a lot of V by Very in my wardrobe at home. I think it’s a great range, they have something for everyone and it’s very affordable also! Poco by Pippa, Quiz and River Island would be another few of my favourites!”
Do you ever find it hard to marry the two- camogie and fashion?
“They’re completely different worlds really! But I think since Littlewoods Ireland have gotten involved it’s brilliant as it shows that just because women play sport doesn’t mean they can’t also be into their fashion. There’s a bit of stereotyping involved unfortunately, but I think when people see that such a large, well known fashion and retail store like Littlewoods Ireland has gotten involved it might help stop that stereotyping.
“Often during the season you wouldn’t have much time for fashion on training days especially as you’d be immediately going straight from college or work to training. I think Anna Geary has really shown that girls can be both stylish and play camogie.”
Who, in your opinion, has the best style on the Cork panel?
“We have a few have very unique styles and we are actually all very different. I like Eimear O’Sullivan‘s style. Hannah Looney would be very unique, and Ashling Thompson has her own style going on as well, she has a very cool kind of style.”
Who would you consider to have been your toughest opponent in your years of playing?
“I know it’s a cliche and everyone always says people from their own team, but genuinely the toughest opponent I have ever encountered has been probably been within our own team! Gemma O’Connor, Aoife Murray and Rena Buckley would be three that spring to mind.”
The Liberty Insurance 2017 Camogie All-Stars take place tonight in Dublin’s Citywest Hotel.