23 Irish caps to her name and one of Irish Rugby's most dynamic and influential players in the set-up. Eimear Considine's had a meandering route into the sport she is now taking by storm.
It all started with a LinkedIn DM. Back in October 2014 Considine was a Clare dual star, excelling in booth Gaelic Football and Camogie. Her talent and athletic ability prompted the the IRFU Sevens Development Coach and Talent Identification Coordinator, Stan McDowell, to reach out via LinkedIN. Since that DM, she hasn't looked back. A rugby schooling moulded in the Seven's game, Considine has now developed into one of the standout fullbacks in Europe.
Interestingly, when she speaks about her childhood, she doesn’t recall being that athletically inclined and admits she didn't know rugby was played by women. "I don't think I was originally 'sporty' which is funny because I am obviously know," she recalls. "Rugby just came knocking out of the blue. I watched a lot of Munster and supported them (men's) growing up because they were very successful.. but I didn't even know women could play rugby."
"I watched the 2013 Grand Slam on the TV and I was really surprised to see women played rugby."
A professional rugby player, presenter, teacher and much more, Considine is determined to increase the access to opportunities for the new generation and show them what is possible.
Sports was always on television in the Considine household but even with the seemingly consistent sports coverage, as a young woman she was unaware that women played professional rugby due to the lack of mainstream coverage of the sport.
She is adamant that “just because you don't win a gold or silver medal in the Olympics doesn't mean that you don't warrant airtime or coverage.” This coverage is essential to providing young girls with role models and it allows them to envision themselves playing that sport one day.
As a passionate teacher she is aware that “it is not just about sport role models. There's a lot of different role models and it's changing the perception of the world for young girls.”
Heartened by the rise in visible female heroes in tech, sciences and other traditionally underrepresented fields, she admires the revisions and hopes they continue to unfold into the future.
Working as an educator in PE and Irish, allowing young girls and boys to have access to a variety of sports and experiences so that they have the tools and diverse experiences at their disposal to choose and shape their future is of the upmost importance to Considine.
Considine states “the most important thing that we do is try to have a curriculum that allows everyone to at least have one good thing that they enjoy or that they are good or feel good at.” The diversity in instruction and curriculum is critical to inspiring and motivating girls and boys to pursue sports at whatever level they desire.
With the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic Considine is concerned that “in a few years we will have a gap” in participation in sports. “We won't have 5th and 6th years playing sports because they won’t have gotten into the habit of coming and training with us, building relationships with us as coaches, even the fun days out or the away games where we might get to go to McDonalds if we win. They won’t have had those fun enjoyable moments.”
However, she is hopeful that when life does slowly become accommodating of in person and team activities students will be excited to jump into sports and the community that it inherently provides.
"It's phenomenal when you think about it. The two girls from West Clare on the international stage in rugby and AFL." 💚
It's a 𝙗𝙞𝙜 day in the Considine house tomorrow. The very best of luck to @Duckyc7 and our own @EimearConsidine! 🙌#ShoulderToShoulder pic.twitter.com/9TSCjH5i4T
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) April 16, 2021