Doire Trasna 'Mothers & Others' cementing Pearses' place in community

Some of the participants who took part in Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2316GS – 07Some of the participants who took part in Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2316GS – 07
Some of the participants who took part in Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2316GS – 07
​​The true sign of any successful sports club is never the silverware on the shelves, it's the connection with the community. Trophies will be won and loss, there'll be good times and bad, but if the roots are strong a club flourish regardless.

For Doire Trasna, their superb Corrody Road base was the planting of a seed that is seeing the club really take root in the Top of the Hill. Underage numbers of boys are girls are flying, the pitch is awash with green and red most nights and there are plans for further development as part of an ambitious five year plan taking the club up to 2027.

And it's not only the shouts and laughter of the underage structure that permeates the Waterside air these days. The 'Field of Dreams' scenario was put to perhaps it's sternest test recently when the club - via 'trasnaman' himself, Alan Nash, and Health & Well-being Officer, Mary Fitzpatrick, decided to trial a Mothers & Others' Fitness programme.

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Never an easy sell, the response was remarkable as almost 80 local ladies enlisted and more than 70 turned out on a memorable first night that has gone from strength to strength, further cementing the club's place in the Waterside community.

Warm-up exercises ahead of Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2316GS – 09Warm-up exercises ahead of Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2316GS – 09
Warm-up exercises ahead of Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2316GS – 09

"There had been a few girls who were torturing Alan (Nash) to get the Morthers & Others Fitness started," admitted Mary, "It takes time but it has been so worthwhile now that it's up and running. Alan is brilliant but I warned him I wasn't sure if the 75 ladies who registered did so for the football or just for the pure craic there would be at training.

"That social aspect is the most important thing about it. If we are not laughing and having fun, then there is no point being there but the laughter, you can hear us laughing the whole way over to Dolan's on a Wednesday night!"

With the club planning to enter an Under 18 Girls'team next season for the first time in its history, the Mothers & Others' has proved an important building block for the progressive Pearses.

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"We were totally overwhelmed by the response," added Mary, "The amount of women of all ages, from all backgrounds, all careers; it has been remarkable. The excitement and the buzz in a build up to a Wednesday night is so refreshing to see.

Warm-up exercises ahead of Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2316GS – 11Warm-up exercises ahead of Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2316GS – 11
Warm-up exercises ahead of Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2316GS – 11

"It's just the same as bringing together the young players. At Mothers & Others we are all meeting new people, people who we may never have met but who live in our community. We are meeting new people and it's then strengthening the sense of community in the whole area, not just within the club.

"We have come together through sport. It's putting the club on the map in a way maybe the men's football teams can't. We are seeing people and families not necessarily from a GAA background. People who weren't aware of Pearses, maybe they didn't know where it was or they may have heard their children talking about it but now they actually feel part of the club. They belong and are apart of Pearses and they're proud of that.

"Its building from the bottom up. There have been a few mammies there who have joined through word of mouth. Their kids haven't been members but now their children are engaging though them, they're starting to play the sport and that's really encouraging. It's building a real bond with the community."

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The club recently embarked on the LGFA run 'Let's Talk' initiative aimed to promoted mental health within the club's 13-18 female membership which highlights the work being done at both ends of the age range.

Some of the participants who took part in Doire Trasna’s  first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2316GS – 08Some of the participants who took part in Doire Trasna’s  first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2316GS – 08
Some of the participants who took part in Doire Trasna’s first Mothers and Others football practice session, at Corrody Road. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2316GS – 08

"We have girls who joined the Mothers & Others from 19 right up to late 50s, that's the age range we're working with. The level of fitness in some of the groups, you can't tell the difference between someone in their 40s and someone in their 20s and a lot of that is the enthusiasm everyone brings. It's infectious.

"You have to come open minded. You have to come knowing you will be tired but then again, so will everybody. You don't have to know how to do everything, you only need to be willing to give it a go and learn, but the numbers returning each week shows how much fun the ladies are having."