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Power From the Ground Up – NDC announces new Sports ambassadors for 2022

The National Dairy Council (NDC) is delighted to announce three new Sports ambassadors for 2022. Rower Paul O’Donovan – the Skibbereen native who made history at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo when he and Fintan McCarthy won Ireland’s first-ever rowing gold medal, winning the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls A Final; GAA player Vikki Wall – a key player for Meath as the county shattered the glass ceiling this year, overcoming five-in-a-row chasing Dublin to win the All-Ireland; and rugby player Eimear Considine completes the line-up, she plays for UL Bohemians and Munster and has played at full-back and wing for Ireland women’s rugby union team since 2017.

The NDC caught up with the ambassadors at the Sport Ireland Institute launch to find out more about how their passion for their sport and dedication to a balanced and nutritious diet is helping them perform their best on the pitch.

Rower Paul O’Donovan said, “I’m so pleased to be selected as an NDC sports ambassador. As a farmer’s son from Skibbereen, I grew up with Irish dairy and know the benefits it has in supporting a healthy balanced diet.  It’s really important to educate people on the importance of diet and nutrition to perform at their best, not just for athletes but for young people starting to establish their own health goals – whether it’s for training at school or to feel fitter and more confident.”

A glass of milk offers an abundance of electrolytes in a fluid form to assist rehydration and provides several vitamins and minerals with important roles for health including calcium, phosphorous, and potassium to support bone health, iodine to contribute to normal cognitive brain function, vitamin B2 to assist with energy release, and vitamin B12 to support normal functioning of the immune system*.

Dr Sharon Madigan, Head of Performance Nutrition, Sport Ireland Institute said “Paying attention to eating and drinking habits can impact greatly on the performance of all athletes at all levels. Food is an effective performance enhancer in many ways. It provides us with energy, it builds and rebuilds the body and it can deliver nutrients that are the building blocks of many of the physiological processes involved in exercise. Training plans rarely stay static so neither should your nutrition routine. All athletes will benefit if they tailor their food intakes to suit their own individual needs and are aware that these needs can change throughout the training and competition seasons.

Vikki Wall will be taking part in events and providing professional insight into her training throughout the year. She shared how she aims to use her ambassadorship to represent positive role models in sports saying –

This year I hope to bring insight into how I take my health as seriously as my physical training when I’m off the pitch. Strength and ability to play at a top level take practice and hard work, so having a diet rich in proteins, calcium and vitamins is important. It helps me to keep my energy levels up during a match and is an aid to recovering afterwards.”

The perfect post-performance recovery drink, milk is rich in protein – an important nutrient for muscle growth and maintenance – and provides a natural carbohydrate source to help refuel energy stores.

Rugby player Eimear Considine shared how she continues to maintain her healthy diet and rugby skills off the pitch, which keeps her mentally and physically in shape for the next foreseeable game, saying

The important thing for me is a healthy balanced diet of protein, calcium and vitamin-based foods. I choose milk as my supplement of choice to keep my body in good condition and to stay hydrated after I train. As well as being an affordable, natural, versatile, and widely available choice, milk also provides a range of vitamins and minerals.


For futher information contact:
Cathy Currran, Communications Manager, National Dairy Council
+353 1 290 2518 |