Ciara Trant: 'You can do something for the greater good'
By Cian O’Connell
Respect has been earned, silverware attained so Dublin goalkeeper Ciara Trant is aware that the summer brings further opportunities.
This is precisely the time of year when Trant relishes training, seeking to improve as a highly regarded Dublin outfit continue to deliver purposeful performances.
Mick Bohan has stitched a talented panel together, and while challenges always exist Trant is delighted to occupy a central role for the All Ireland champions following a couple of very near misses.
“I suppose we have a nice sob story to go with winning the All Irelands,” Trant laughs. “After being so close people always like a sob story. It is fantastic to win an All Ireland any year. We don't take that for granted. Dublin football is flourishing thanks to the men and women, it is a fantastic time to be involved in that.”
The increasing interest in women’s sport, though, is critical and Trant acknowledges the importance of inspiring the next generation. “Absolutely, seeing young girls and boys around Dublin looking up to you, knowing your name, recognising you or wanting to learn from you is fantastic,” Trant admits.
“Even on a personal level with my little cousins and how they look up to me puts me in my place and makes me realise football aside there is a bigger picture.
“You can do something for the greater good, that is something we as a team have chased in everything we do. To set the standards high and to have a positive impact on as many people as we can.”
Through her job as a teacher Trant is fully aware of how sport can be so relevant to youngsters. “Even as a little kid growing up I was always in awe of Denise Masterson, to be able to have that impact on someone else would be massive and such a privilege,” Trant adds.
“I know from school just playing for Dublin and being a positive role model has impacted the lives of a good few students. That is something I'm proud of.
“I was sports mad growing up, I wasn't occupied with anything else. There is so much pressure on kids now to look a certain way or to have certain opinions or to be involved in certain things. Just opening up young people and their minds to different opportunities for them, different interests for them. It is okay if you want to put on a pair of football boots, if you want to get covered in muck and rain at the weekend.
“If that is what you want to do, off you go to do that. You don't have to be sitting inside doing something or looking a certain way. I do see that in school with some of the girls. If I was to change somebody's way of doing things or to give them some confidence I would be very happy.”
With the 20x20 movement and improved media coverage Trant believes this is a particularly significant time for women’s sport. “I think it is across the board in all sports now,” Trant replies. “You look at the respect Katie Taylor has, the respect the Irish Women's hockey team has, the support the football team got in Tallaght Stadium for their World Cup Qualifiers, it is fantastic.
“Having a World Cup on at the moment there are so many role models. When I was growing up it was mainly Sonia O'Sullivan, that was at the end of her career. It is just huge now, women's sports across the board are going to benefit massively from the attention they are getting at the moment.”
Sunday’s Leinster Championship Final against Westmeath is next on the agenda for Trant. “It is exciting, training has really stepped up a gear so I cannot wait for the Championship to start, to try to kick on for the summer, my favourite time of year.”