In normal circumstances, trying to balance work with your sporting career can be difficult for the elite of Gaelic Games. But trying to balance it as a healthcare professional in the middle of a pandemic? Impossible some might say. Emma Helebert would tell you it's quite the opposite. To make it all the more impressive, the Ballinderreen native did all that while winning the 2021 All-Ireland in the process. What's your excuse? This week we went ClubSpotting with Emma Helebert.
What are your first memories of your club Ballinderreen?
My first memories of my club are going to play a blitz every week in the neighbouring clubs. It’s something that sticks out in my memories, the days filled with plenty of matches and maybe some medals at the end of it all!
Who were your sporting idols growing up?
To name a few of my sporting idols growing up were Sinead Cahalan, Therese Maher, Lorraine Ryan, these were backs that I had aspired to and probably learned an awful lot from just watching them play and getting to train alongside them.
What has been the proudest moment of your playing career?
The proudest moment of my career to date probably has to be the All Ireland in 2019. It was my first year to complete a full league and championship and it was probably our most successful year to date.
Toughest opponent you have faced?
One of the toughest opponents I have faced at inter county level is Anne Dalton. Very skilful and very intelligent on the field. At club level Niamh McPeake, very speedy and skilful together, a backs nightmare!
Best player you have played with?
The best player I have played with probably has to be Niamh Kilkenny. The determination and work rate this girl brings to not only every game but every training session is admirable!
Any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
My pre-game rituals I like to keep simple like achieving nutrition and hydration goals. Keeping busy the day before a game but being organized! Sitting in the same seats on the way to every game is probably my only superstition!
What are your hopes and ambitions for 2022?
My hopes and ambitions for 2022 would be to have full attendance with family and friends attending games again. To be consistent in performances to hopefully get to another All-Ireland with Galway. For our club to retain our intermediate status and hopefully develop our team to become competitive within our group!
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