As Team Ireland compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Documentary On Newstalk presents another chance to hear 2016's 'Personal Best – The Story Behind Irish Women in Paralympic Sport’ by Susan Dennehy.
In 'Personal Best', radio producer Susan Dennehy profiles, and follows over the course of several months, the progress of two female athletes who went on to represent Ireland at the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016.
Through incredible personal stories, the massive impact sport can have on women’s lives is gently revealed.
At just 21, swimmer Ellen Keane was about to compete in her third Paralympic Games. Ellen, who was born without her left forearm, went on to win a bronze medal at the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016.
Both Ellen and her parents attribute her confidence in life to her sporting achievements.
‘I was really insecure about my arm when I was younger. I used to wear my sleeves down all the time. With swimming there was nowhere to hide, it was just me and my swimsuit.’
For Deirdre Mongan who was 38, the 2016 Paralympics was her first time to compete at the Paralympics.
Galway woman, Deirdre, was paralysed in a farming accident at the age of 14.
She has never let her disability compromise her life, as well as being a world class athlete, she has a full-time job, and is mum to Amy, age 2.
‘Sport has made me strong enough for the physical side of minding Amy. I can manage to lift her up on to my lap which I don’t know if I would be able to do if I wasn’t as fit as I am now.'
Deirdre competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and placed 5th.
With exclusive access to the women and their families, this documentary is not just about elite athletes, it’s about daughters, mothers and wives who strive to fulfill their potential in both their everyday lives as well as in their sporting careers.
Personal Best will be broadcast on Newstalk on Sunday August 29th at 8am and on Saturday September 4th at 9pm.
‘Personal Best – The Story Behind Irish Women in Paralympic Sport’ was produced and narrated by Susan Dennehy. The programme was made with the support of the BAI, Sound and Vision Grant.