Jeamie Deacon, Blackrock and Irish Womens’ team member spoke to us briefly about her love of rugby, how she balances a full-time job as a maths teacher and an international rugby player, her excitement at being involved in the Irish Women’s Squad as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup that is being held in Dublin and Belfast next month and tips for any girl keen to get involved in rugby.
Jeamie started her career in the mini category with the boys U12 Enniscorthy team but transferred to hockey when she went to secondary school at Newtown in Waterford. She had a really successful hockey career, being called into the U18, U21 and Senior Irish teams. She also had the experience of being flown by private jet to a quarter final game in the USA when she attended Michigan State University on a hockey scholarship.
However, she remembers feeling really inspired by the Irish women’s grand slam success especially the Italian game in Rome and after trying out tag rugby with friends she came to training at Blackrock College RFC and the rest as they say is history.
Jeamie, who is a maths teacher by profession in the High School in Dublin, was drafted into both the 15a-side and 7a-side international Irish squads.
She says, “it is difficult to manage both, but both The High School staff and my coaches have been really supportive and help make it easier. I gym before work at 6am and then 7s training is at 4.45pm. I enjoy it, so at the end of the day it’s about making it work! Playing for Ireland is amazing and hopefully the hard work will pay off”.
It’s being involved in the matches that helps Jeamie get up at 5.30am every morning. End of. For her, they are the most fun part of being involved in the Irish squad coming up to the Rugby World Cup. She’s even started to enjoy the early morning gym session! Recover and pool session are made easier by her love of water and the bit of messing that goes on!
The worst part is definitely the sacrifices that she has to make. “Missing my friends and family for special occasions is the hardest part. Being sensible about food and drink is also crucial. But my sporting career is really important to me and I want to have no regrets”.
She added that her Dad definitely suffers most, because she is away he has less free labour on the farm! However, he knows is will all be worth it when he’s supporting Jeamie from the side-line.
Her advice for younger players thinking of taking up rugby; “It’s a fun sport so make sure you are really having fun and enjoying it”!
Training wise, Jeamie knows that every part of the game is important and that she should not focus on one part over another. She spends time on skill work, rugby training and strength and conditioning. Being a relative new- comer she also understands the she needs to be patient with herself setting herself personal goals. For example, if Jeamie’s aim is to be able to pass better off her weaker hand she will include 30 passes after each training session. The first month her aim may be to have an accurate 5-7m pass while standing but the next month it will be to have an accurate 5-7m pass while running.
Coming up to the Women’s Rugby World Cup Jeamie’s Normal Training Day looks something like this; Morning; Mobility / Gym, Afternoon; Physio / Mobility / Skills and Evening; Rugby training.
Here’s hoping that all the hard work pays off with the some Rugby World Cup appearances in August!