Roisin Upton: 'Everyone has an opinion… Trump and all that… about what should happen'

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It is a good thing one of Sean Dancer’s mantras to the Irish women’s squad is “those that can adapt are the one who will succeed”.

The panel will find out their updated training regime today as they endeavour to keep their Olympic preparations going as close to full throttle as possible despite the circumstances.

They were due to head to Durban today but Friday brought confirmation of the cancelled trip with all on-field action in Ireland also postponed until March 29th at the earliest.

“This was a huge event on our [Olympic] calendar; three weeks in the heat getting eight tests against three different nations with the humidity,” Roisin Upton told the Examiner.

“It’s something we are all looking forward to. There wasn’t a ban in place then to stop us travelling [at the time] so it was an in-house decision, a tough one at that, but there are more important things in life than sport.”

It leaves Upton and the squad having to adapt to make the best of a tough situation.

“Essentially, we are in the same lockdown as everyone else. We can’t get together as a squad so much of the work we will be doing will be physical by ourselves.”

The Limerick native has access to nearby pitches at Crescent Comprehensive and Catholic Institute’s Rosbrien while she reckons she will be borrowing some of her brother’s dumbells and kettle bells when the new schedule comes in.

As such, it is full steam ahead in trying to be in the best possible shape for the Tokyo in July but it is impossible to escape the voices calling for the Olympics to be put on hold.

“You hear it! Everyone has an opinion… Trump and all that… about what should happen. There’s just so much unknown and so munch uncertainty; so many questions. It is hard to have a contingency plan for something like this.

“All we can try and do is stay focused on the day-to-day. The Olympics is still scheduled for the exact same time and the exact same place. Nothing has changed.

“We do have to adapt [our schedule] but that is one of the things Sean has echoed since he came into our squad – ‘those that can adapt are the ones who will succeed’.

“This is another test for us. It is a bigger picture and a lot more important than our team but we are trying to stay focused.”

Domestically, the Munster Senior Cup finals and the Leinster St Patrick’s Day festival – both decent money-spinners for the provinces – are the first major fixtures to be cancelled.

New dates will also have to be found for the Irish Senior Cup and Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls championships as well as two rounds of the men’s EY Hockey League.

The women’s EYHL is less affected as it is currently on a three-week break but the jigs and reels of storm-based postponements, nine games need new dates. Where they will fit in remains to be seen.


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