Dayna Finn - One of Ireland's most talented dual athletes

Dayna Finn - One of Ireland's most talented dual athletes Dayna Finn - One of Ireland's most talented dual athletes
Neasa Kennedy

Dayna Finn is one of Ireland's most talented and versatile dual athletes.

The 22-year-old is currently on a sports scholarship with Trinity while studying for her Masters in Education and playing with Trinity Meteors who are currently in action over in the MissQuote Super League.

"It's a level playing field" said Finn, with her and her teammates preparing for a competitive season.

"We had NUIG, Killester, DCU and Glanmire as our first 4 games and we lost narrowly to DCU but our other games were great games and I think the MissQuote Super League this season is very even so it's hard to know [who will win]."

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Last year was Finn's first year with Trinity Meteors, and this year they have a new coach in Niall Berry and some new players.

"It was my first year in Dublin, so that was all new to me as well as a new team and a new coach."

"I was getting to know the girls on the team, getting to know the coaches. So I'm definitely more comfortable this year and I've settled in a little bit quicker"

As it is all to play for in this year's league, the Trinity Meteor's are determined to reach the top.

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"One of our goals would be certainly to make the top 4, if not the top 2, so ultimately that is where we want to be and that's where we see ourselves. It's about meeting our standards and taking every game as it comes and getting a performance out of the team"

On a personal level, Finn has set her own goals too. "Personally, to make the Irish International team for next window and to develop skills in terms of  basketball, and a bit more strength work"

Finn's basketball training schedule is full-on and currently doesn't leave much time for her to play football. Her focus right now is on basketball.

"In terms of training we train [court] on a Tuesday and a Thursday with a game every Saturday, so Monday and Wednesday would be our gym or our strength and conditioning training"

"Last year I was quite busy with basketball so I didn't play with Mayo for Championship just because I had a lot of basketball on and it kind of took over."

On how she has balanced being a dual athlete previously, Finn said "Yeah it's tough at times but I think I'm a quite organised person and I like to have a plan and focus on certain things"

"There would be times where I would have to take a step back and be realistic about going to basketball training the same day as football and things like that"

Although both sports are evidently different, they also compliment each other in terms of skill.

"There definitely is overlaps and they've definitely helped me be a dual athlete" said Finn.

"I find going from the pitch to the court, it's really helpful. I suppose your using your hands as opposed to your feet in football, but your hand-eye-coordination is really beneficial in those terms."

The Trinity Meteor's player has also come face to face with family in this years MissQuote Super League.

"My sister Hazel actually plays for NUIG and we got landed with them in our first game of the season so that was great and we actually won that game but again it was just a narrow win. I think it's very, very competitive and it's really good that it is because no one team is secure in their spot"

Finn comes from a sporty family, with both her parents having played football for Mayo. Growing up sport was very important.

"I played basketball and football but I also played handball. I played handball until I was 14 or 15. I loved handball but it's an individual sport. I played basketball at home and football but I have kind of gone towards the basketball more than the football now which my mom and dad would have played for Mayo so they were kind of like 'Oh! but no they were so supportive of the basketball career and the way I was still able to do both was great"

"My biggest support has been my parents and they were definitely role models."

In terms of female sports role models, Finn expressed how there was an absence when she was growing up, but that it is changing for the better.

"When I was younger it wasn't as much promoted as it is now and that's why I think women in sport should be promoted more for the younger generation."

By age 20, 50% of girls have dropped out of sport.

To try and combat this statistic, Finn says "I think the main thing is focus and to promote sport in a fun way at that age and not as intense as it is when you're a sporting athlete"

"For younger girls, I know I do a bit of coaching in schools and that and it's just promoting them, getting them interested, keeping them interested is the main thing. Giving them people who they idolise and asking them do they know them because if they know them they'll want to be like them and they'll keep going to strive to be better in their sport"

She also believes there is a duty on "us athletes to get involved and motivate younger people to keep up sport and try all sports because when I was younger I had football, basketball and handball and it's only when you get to your 20s you kind of realise you can only do one or two at a high, high level. So I think at that age you can try all sports and go down whatever route you want"

Finn also expressed how the support she receives from Trinity as a sport scholar is crucial in order for her to perform at the top of her game.

"The Trinity Sport Scholarship Programme has been huge benefit to me and a lot of other sport shcholars. We get great access to facilities, one-on-one nutrition talks, access to the High Performance gym and one-on-one coaching and strength and conditioning training."

"They support you in terms of your lifestyle as well as your sporting career so it's both academic and sporting which has been great"

We spoke to Dayna at Trinity College Dublin's unveiling of its Sport Scholarship students for 2022 / ‘23. Student athletes from a wide variety of sports, including rugby, basketball, GAA, rowing, hockey, and cricket are featured in this year’s programme.  

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