Sarah Rowe relishing 2020 challenge
By Cian O'Connell
Sarah Rowe's sporting life has been sprinkled with interesting moments and memories. The past four months, though, has brought plenty of time for reflection and a welcome break.
Following another impressive stint with Collingwood in the AFLW, Rowe is now ready for action again with Kilmoremoy and Mayo.
"It’s been a quiet few weeks for a change," Rowe says about the recent lockdown. "I’ve been used to being on the go for a while, so it’s been nice to have time with my family and time to myself as well.
"So it’s been one that I’ve enjoyed in many ways. I’m really looking forward to getting back properly. I’ve been back the last week with my club, so it’s been brilliant to be back in a team environment and having that camaraderie with all the girls.
"I think my parents were actually shocked that I’d dealt with it so well. When things hit you in the face, you’ve no choice but to deal with it. I enjoyed that precious time with my family. It’s time you’ll never get back.
"I’ve never had this long of a break off training, mentally or physically so it’s been great."
The talented Rowe acknowledges it will be difficult to combine playing Ladies Football and AFL in the future. Speaking with Midwest Radio recently, Mayo manager Peter Leahy outlined his position as the Green and Red played the National League witout a string of key performers.
"There’s no other sport that I know of that you can play both in the same season,” Leahy remarked. "I believe if you really believe in Mayo and you really believe you can win an All-Ireland, then you battle it through together.”
Rowe acknowledges that the sporting demands are increasing in the respective codes. "Communciation is the key thing in all of this," Rowe says. "Since I've came home I've been keeping in touch with Mayo, keeping in touch with the club, all that kind of stuff.
"Down the line it is definitely going to be more demanding, both Gaelic Football and AFL so a decision will have to be made at some point.
"I think for me at the moment it is too uncertain with travel restrictions and all of that kind of stuff. I'm just taking it one day at a time, looking at the club first, and after that, Mayo.
"I think probably maybe for a year or two you could do both in terms of the way the seasons are working. After that I think both codes will demand a small bit more off you. I think it is a personal decision you are going to have to make for yourself.
"At the end of the day I respect what Peter said and what he wants and what he thinks is best for Mayo is best for me."
Rowe is encouraged about the manner in which women's sport is developing in Ireland through increased media exposure.
"Yeah definitely, it's been absolutely huge," Rowe replies. "It is for younger girls to be able to have a platform and look at older girls achieving and see that pathway that they can go.
"That's the major thing, it's about wanting the standards to improve every year and the more girls we have involved, the more people who are working hard from the grassroots up the better the game will be, the more media coverage there'll be and the more attendance there'll be.
"That's exactly what 20x20 are doing at the moment. Lild as well combined, and it's great to have all them things in place and the media has really helped with that. It's important we keep pushing that forward."
The LGFA continues to make significant strides according to Rowe.
"Hugely proactive," Rowe admits. "They're doing everything they can and I think with the help of Lidl around the place, it's been amazing for football what they've done.
"It's the consistency that they just continuously time and time again try to do new things, create new initiatives. It's just unbelievable to watch.
"I've been involved with them the last four or five years as an ambassador and I'm just blown away by all the work they've put in.
"It's not enough a question how much they've done for the game and how much they'll continue to do so we're very lucky and very fortunate to have them."
Rowe has been busy with a new career move after finishing a course.
"I did life coaching, hypnosis and NLP [Neuro Linguistic Programming] so it's all about changing the way we think, changing the way we act and changing the way we feel," Rowe reveals. "It's all about mindset and how we're in control of ourselves.
"I've started taking on clients over the last two weeks and it's been amazing. It's something I'm really passionate about, I love having conversations with people and coming from a non-judgmental point of view.
"Being able to pick things apart and get people become more self aware so that we can make better decisions.
"We're all doing well in life, but we can always do better and I think training your mind is a huge part of that."