Ballymacarbry native, Fiona Crotty Laffan met Community Sports Development Officer, Sinéad Brannigan to chat about her introduction to sport, and why she encourages and supports her daughter to play sport and be part of her local club. Fiona is an understated owner of a vast amount of All- Ireland medals from a variety of different sports. She is most known for the role that she played in the great success of the Waterford Ladies Football teams in the nineties.
The community games were the sporting focus of Fionas’ life growing up. She participated in a variety of sports – gymnastics, athletics, ladies gaelic football and much more. Fiona’s mother was part of the well structured community games committee in Ballymacarbry and her sister (Marie Crotty) was responsible for coaching her community games team that won two All- Irelands. Fiona then went on to represent Waterford in ladies football at county level – U16, minor and senior. She credits her club, Ballymacarbry Ladies Football for her success and for the great memories and experiences that she gained from playing football.
Fiona had many local football role models and she believes that this is the reason why she continued to play football at a young age. Fiona’s’ sister, Marie Crotty made history in 1986 as the first woman ever to score a point in Croke Park. Fiona was regularly brought to matches and witnessed the friendships that were made and the success that great footballers like Bernie Ryan, Bridget Mc Grath, Marie Ryan, and her own sister benefitted from because of their involvement in ladies football. In Fiona’s own words, “Success breeds success”. #cantseecantbe
Fiona had firsthand experience of the strong leadership that is needed at club and county level to create good structures and to build successful pathways for all. Michael Ryan and Bridget Mc Grath were the great leaders during Fiona’s playing career. They were passionate and both of them instilled that passion and love for the game to Fiona and all of her teammates, in turn Ballymacarbry Ladies Football and Waterford Ladies Football teams reaped the highest rewards in the land during the nineties.
To this day, Fiona is still involved in football with Ballyduff Lower Ladies Football and has become a role model herself to her own daughter and other girls. When asked by the club if she would be willing to support the set up of a club for girls in the area her immediate reaction was yes. Fiona wanted her daughter who was two years old at the time to have sporting opportunities like she did in Ballymacarbry at a young age. Fiona’s decision to encourage her daughter Michaela to play sport comes directly as a result of her positive experiences from being involved herself. She wanted her daughter to experience what she had experienced in the past and she was aware that playing sport would improve her confidence and self esteem, which is important for young girls.
Sporting values can transfer into daily life and Fiona agreed that she has seen that happen in her daughter’s day to day life and amongst other girls in the club too. Values like consideration for others and encouragement of others is just some of the values that she has seen already and she thinks that these will last long into the future. Fiona commented that she has noticed with the girls that “being part of a sports club makes making friends easier too”.
Fiona’s advice for young girls today and if she could talk to younger self is clear and simple “relax, enjoy and live in the moment”. The decorative All Star footballer added that “it’s important to remember nothing lasts forever”.
Fiona Crotty Laffan Sporting Achievements
U14 Community Games All Ireland Title 1987 & 1988
U16 All Ireland Title 1991
Minor All Ireland Titles 1991 & 1993
Senior Club All Ireland Titles with Ballymacarbry 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998
Senior County All Ireland 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998
Holds record for winning four All Ireland titles in Ladies Gaelic Football in one year.
Captained Minor Team 1993
Captained Ballymacarbry to win All Ireland in 1994
All Star Award 1994
Article Modified: November 13, 2020 10:02 am