Racquetball Ireland Connacht Tribune 2017

Late-starter Downey making her mark in international racquetball

Reported in the Connacht Tribune October 13, 2017.

MOYCULLEN’S Olivia Downey has some story to tell. For years, Downey was just a ‘social’ racquetball player who loved nothing more than a good old-fashioned chin-wag when the weekly Wednesday session came around. Jump forward to 2017 and the 39-year-old has undergone a radical sporting transformation. In addition to being crowned the All-Ireland intermediate singles and doubles champion earlier this year, she also claimed three medals at the 19th European Senior Racquetball Championships last month.

Given where she has come from, Downey’s journey is a remarkable one. “Yeah, it was only in the last year – this year in fact – that I really began to take it seriously and I actually went down to train and not just to talk,” she laughs.

While she had been attending competitions in Connacht over the last three seasons, she had never ventured any further or, indeed, maybe, applied herself to the extent required to challenge and progress. [Read More]