KILKENNY’S All-Ireland victory was only possible because every single player on the squad pulled together with the single aim of bringing the Liam McCarthy cup back to The Marble city, Captain Eoin Larkin has revealed. Proper diet and nutrition is also crucial if players are to perform at their peak, Larkin said as he addressed those gathered for the National Dairy Council/Glanbia Health & Wellbeing Evening on the opening night of the Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food.
“There was no special secret to our success this year. Everyone in the dressing room pulled together with just one aim. We’ve an amazing background team which looks after our every need. Proper diet and nutrition is absolutely crucial and it is particularly important that we remain hydrated at all times. “If something isn’t right then our nutritionist isn’t long picking up on it. And if we don’t put it right, Brian Cody isn’t long getting out the ‘curly finger’,” Larkin quipped.
The army man said he eats at home rather than at the barracks and has to watch his diet and weight out of season as he tends to put on weight easily. He also steams and bakes his food rather than frying but added that he’s not overly particularly about his food. Dairy is a critical part of his diet he said, particularly during the training season when all players receive fortified milk and dairy products to help improve their recovery and condition.
Captain of the Irish Olympic boxing team, Darren O’Neill said he’s enjoying being back in training and will be competing again from February. As a boxer, he has to watch his weight and diet and admitted that some of the crash diets he’s had to endure has had an impact on his metabolism.
It was an honour to captain the Irish team and their collective success was phenomenal, he added. He also admitted that it was tough when he was beaten. “I did absolutely everything right and was at my very best and had hoped to do very well in the Olympics. It was very difficult to recompose myself after losing. I shared an apartment with the other boxers and I couldn’t let it impact on the morale in the camp. As the captain, I was the leader of the team and had to just get on with it. It was the very best performance ever from the Irish team. It was tough when I came home. I stayed in Dublin for a few days when we arrived back. But I’m back in training now and looking forward to competition from February.”
Health expert Paula Mee urged those gathered not to shun dairy products in an effort to cut down on calories. She said that 16% of women aged 18-64 are not getting enough calcium and this rises to 42% among teenage girls. She said that without Vitamin D that our bodies are only capable of absorbing 15% of calcium. She also said that three quarters of Irish adults and four out of five children are not getting the minimum recommended 30 minutes and 60 minutes of activity each day. And as a consequence, as many as one in ten children are overweight. This rises to 37% among adults. Almost one in four Irish adults is classed as obese.