Noel Connors #StudentsRedefined

Recent article in the Irish Independent where Waterford hurler Noel Connors spoke about his admiration for the work and effort of his fellow county woman Trish Jackman.  The 25 year old is currently a PhD student at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Noel Connors - #StudentsRedefined

Waterford corner-back Noel Connors knows lots about Trish Jackman and not just because they are both county stars who are also currently psychology PhD students at Waterford IT.

“I know Trish really well because I grew up playing club hurling against her as a kid,” he explains. “She used to play with the lads in Ballygunner up to about U-14 level and, to be honest, was sometimes the best player on the pitch.

“Since then she’s had great success with the county and won five Ashbourne Cup medals with the college which, in itself, is a remarkable achievement,” he notes.

Jackman, who leads Waterford against Kildare in the intermediate decider in Sunday’s triple-header of Liberty Insurance All-Ireland camogie finals, is widely regarded as one of the finest female strikers of a ball.

She won a seventh Poc Fada title this summer and led the Déise to an All-Ireland premier junior title in 2011 and Connors has seen, first-hand, her dedication on and off the pitch.

Like him, she was part of a group of elite GAA players doing a special leadership course this year organised by the players’ unions so they often shared lifts to Dublin together.

What makes Jackman even more exceptional is that she has been based abroad for the past year.  Her research has taken her to the University of Lincoln and now, just to get home, she has to drive for three-and-a-half hours before even boarding a plane.

“Trish travels over from England all the time for camogie, that just epitomises her and shows the sort of commitment she has,” Connors stresses.

The women’s Gaelic Players’ Association (WGPA) has just teamed up with their male counterpart (GPA) to launch a new social media campaign – #onherside – to get inter-county male players to support their female colleagues.  Connors, like Cork’s Eoin Cadogan and Wexford’s Lee Chin, is among the high-profile hurlers who have put their weight behind the initiative.

“We’d see the quality of hurling among the camogie players in WIT like (Waterford’s) Jenny Simpson and Vikki Falconer and Cork’s Laura Treacy,” he says. “You’d see the skill they have, the work they put in and their dedication but they probably still don’t get the same resources or recognition as us.”

Read the full article with Noel here.

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