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Kinsale Mother And Daughter Duo

Kinsale Mother And Daughter Duo Proving There Are No Barriers In Sport

Writes JJ Hurley

The Kinsale mother and daughter pairing of Theresa and Sinead Barnett’s exploits on the triathlon scene is proof that women’s sports are no longer in the shadow of their male counterparts.

Indeed, Theresa’s extraordinary second place in her category, in a time of 12:54:34, at the recent Barcelona Ironman, was made even more remarkable by the fact she celebrated her sixtieth birthday this year.

For those who are unfamiliar with the sport, it includes a 2.4 mile swim, 180km cycle and, finally, crossing the finishing line having completed a full marathon.

Of course, the popular An Post employee, well known for racing around Kinsale, with that familiar youthful smile, takes it all in her stride.

A keen runner, since the Cork marathon was first run in the ‘80s, Theresa always finds herself at the business end of every race, often making her way home with an accolade tucked under her arm.

Progression to the triathlon scene followed in 2014, when Theresa joined Kinsale Tri Club, which was followed by a string of victories in local and national triathlon races, including two-in-a-row at the highly regarded Lost Sheep outing in Kerry.

While she dismisses any notion that she’s competitive, a response her daughter, Sinead, laughs off Theresa’s reply, by stressing ‘she is ya’.

However, for both ladies, the significant role played by Kinsale Tri Club cannot be understated, with both women agreeing it has played a pivotal part and they are keen to encourage others to sign up.

With cycling, running and swimming all included in the club’s itinerary, athletes of all abilities are encouraged to join and to focus on whatever element they wish to pursue.

“Not everyone has to compete a triathlon event,” remarks Theresa, “We have members who simply sign up to participate in the couch to 5km run, others come along for the regular Thursday night swims and the bike rides also have their following.”

Returning from London in January, Sinead, who had swum competitively at a younger age, decided to reactivate her interest in the keep- fit scene – following her mum into the Kinsale Tri Club this year, Initially to pursue her interest in swimming but like so many others she soon found herself possessing a bike and a pair of runners.

Now both ladies regularly travel around the circuit competing, where Sinead’s promising debut has seen her secure a number of podium finishes.

While reflecting on what has been a remarkable year for the Kinsale athletes, the more established runner and novice runner as they humorously refer to themselves, are already planning to complete the original Athens’ Marathon, to mark Sinead’s 30th birthday in 2019.

With no plans to hang up the running shoes, bike or swimming googles anytime soon, Theresa is hoping more women of all ages will participate in sports, no matter what their individual goals are.

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