Lauren Guilfoyle is the sport and style queen taking the GAA world by storm. Not only is she a sports broadcaster with Pundit Arena, Lauren is also a full time physiotherapist and works as a reporter with the Clare Echo.
You’d often find Lauren at any given stadium on match day, it’s surprising she even had the time to sit down and chat to us! Luckily for us she did, and in keeping with our GAA content series, we caught up on her busy schedule, her passion for GAA and her go-to festive looks.
You seem to be a very busy woman Lauren, what does an average day for you look like?
“I’m the poster girl for ‘There isn’t enough hours in the day.’ A typical day for me starts usually with a trip to UL campus where I either get a run, a yoga session or strength session in followed by my first of about 10 coffees. I then try to catch up on admin work – emails, written reports, session planning etc. My afternoon and evenings are full with patients as I work as physiotherapist full time in private practice.
“Some evenings I then cover matches or training with UL teams or the Tipperary Camogie team this past year. If I haven’t made it to the gym that morning I’ll fit this in then. I then try to chill out with my housemates or friends. The weekends then are a complete other kettle of fish as my other job takes hold. I work with Pundit Arena most weekends during the summer covering GAA and could be at very random venues throughout the country. I like being busy!”
Where did your passion for GAA come from?
“My passion for GAA came from my upbringing. My family are heavily involved in GAA in Clare and further afield so it’s something that has always been a part of my life. My Father lives and breathes GAA and I think we’re very alike so in some ways I think I’m subconsciously trying to emulate him.”
Do you ever find it hard to be glamorous in the sporting world?
“I don’t think I’ve ever found it hard but initially I would have had thoughts like ‘Wow am I bit too dressed up?’ But I suppose I’m a 22-year-old girl working in an industry where I’m kind of on my own in that regard. Sports broadcasting is a massively male dominated profession so I don’t think I would be comparing like with like if I tried to compare my style or glamour to the majority in the sporting world.”
How do you feel about the changes happening with women in GAA? E.g first year of the Camogie All Stars tour, rise in numbers at the Ladies football final.
“I am absolutely loving the increase in popularity of female sports here in Ireland and changes such as increased television coverage, All Stars trips and huge sponsorship deals are really the reason for this. There has been a huge shift in media coverage of female sports over the past 3-4 years and I think this well deserved. Our camogie players and ladies footballers put in a big effort and this should be rewarded.”
You’ve interviewed a lot of GAA personalities. Who has been your favourite and why?
“I have two interviews that stand out. Given my physiotherapy background, I had an interesting interview with Footballer of the Year Andy Moran at the GAA Youth Forum recently about his ACL injury. He was quite animated and brought huge enthusiasm – that made that quite a laid back and natural discussion.
“The second interview that stands out is quite recent – I had the pleasure of speaking to Clare joint manager Donal Moloney after their recent Fenway Classic win in Boston. This interview was special to me given the historic surroundings of Fenway Park – but also because it kind of hit home to me how much of a progression I have made starting this career from nothing.”
Stand out moment for you from the 2017 hurling season?
What are you most looking forward to about the 2018 season?
“I think there’s only one answer to that – and that’s the revamped structure of the Munster and Leinster championships. My only problem will be deciding what matches to go to!”
How do you think the new hurling format will play out?
“I think this format will create a whole new dimension to good management. It will be vital to have training load planned to a tee, to have strength in depth in panels in order to be able to deal with injuries that are bound to happen across the 4 games each county will have, and consistency.
“Consistency is hard to produce at the best of times, but 4 championship games with a break of one weekend somewhere in that will require excellent management to get the best out of players. From a Clare point of view I’m eagerly awaiting the two home games in Cusack Park – it’s a cauldron of passion at full capacity.”
Before all that we have Christmas! What’s your go-to look for the festive season?
“I like to wear black. A lot of black! This season I’m loving getting the basics right so my ankle heeled boots are getting a lot of wear with dresses/skirts and tights – they say flaunt what you have so I’m making use of these very long legs! I hate dress shopping this time of year because it’s sequins overload and it’s very hard not to look tacky head-to-toe sequins.”
Any favourite brands?
“My fave casual wear brands would have to be Nike and Under Armour. For more dressy occasions I don’t think you can go wrong with simplicity so I buy Vero Moda and Vila a lot. Zara is one of my favourite high street stores – it’s effortlessly stylish and affordable. I also really like the versatility of the Littlewoods Ireland V by Very range – I must wear my leather jacket from the collection 4 or 5 times a week!”