International Womens Day, Luck of the Irish

Loretta Éirinn Ní Coscair

This week The Imperial is calling out some of the inspiring women in our world as we celebrate International Womens Day this Sunday (March 8). A global day that recognises the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – so we were very excited to have a chat with Loretta! A driving force behind LGBTQIA+ community group Sydney Queer Irish, local baseball team The Shamrock Players (officially sponsored by The Impy) and The Sydney Women’s Baseball League.

Person dressed as St Patrick

The SWBL and female sports clubs in Sydney are thriving! How did you come to be involved in The Shamrock Players and SWBL (Sydney Women’s Baseball League)?

I was first introduced to SWBL through a friend Sarah Marsden back in 2006 who played for the Stealers. I watched one of her games then went on to join the “Players” in 2007 and have proudly being playing in the league since. SWBL is a family, and like all family’s you have your fav siblings, crazy cousins and kooky aunts! That’s what I love about SWBL.

In 2010 The “Players” merged with two other teams, The “Celts” and The “Kaos” as numbers were dwindling and we became the force that is the Shamrock Players!

In 2020, SWBL is celebrating 25years, we have an incredibly passionate committee and planning on introducing baseball to the wider LGBTQIA+ community in June this year at a Community Gala Day and always welcome new players of all levels.

Group of sports women huddled in a group

No doubt you’ve made some incredible friendships in this industry, what has been the most rewarding part of it?

The friendships and bonds that I have made through SWBL will stay with me forever. We are a close-knit community that look out for one another. Sarah and I are still the best of friends and have a strong competitive streak between us on the diamond and off the diamond. It’s a friendship I’m incredibly proud of.

I’ve a team of best mates that are always at the end of the phone when shit gets real and are always up for a social gathering. SWBL has been described as a hot bed of romance for some!! Playing baseball is fun, dragging yourself to the park on a Sunday can be a challenge, but it’s the people that make it.

 

This International Women’s Day, who do you find inspiring and why?

In SWBL there are two people that really give more than most, they dedicate hours and hours of time off the diamond to make the league what it is and I’m proud to say they are both Shamrock Players, Hayley Lockett (our President) and Stacy Warren (our Treasurer).

Without these dynamic women the league wouldn’t be half the league that it is today. Both have given countless hours to the league over the past decade and a half. In my real life beyond SWBL, I find women with passion and determination and selflessness incredibly inspiring, no matter what their passion or field.

Then there’s women like Rachel Perkins, Leah Purcell and Deborah Mailman I have been fortunate enough to work with on various projects and I am inspired by these strong women every day to be and do better and push myself because they push themselves to be the women and the voices that they are.

A large group of people dressed in green celebrating Mardi Gras in Sydney

Sydney Queer Irish has been another community you’ve been involved in, can you share a little bit about SQI and the fun events you help organise?

Sydney Queer Irish has been my passion for 10 years now! This year we’re celebrating a decade of SQI 2010 – 2020, in fact the same year in which the Shamrock Players were started. SQI emerged from a desire to create a social support network and a home away from home for the Irish LGBTQIA+ community and its allies.  It provides a solid base from which to socialise and celebrate all that it means to be Irish and LGBTQIA+ while living in Australia.  Everyone is welcome in SQI!

So what have we achieved in 10 years?

SQI has taken part in many Irish inspired events hosted by the broader Irish community. We proudly participate in St Patricks Day in the Rocks, volunteer with Darkness Into Light and other charities. We have created a robust community of LGBTQIA+ Irish and are well known for our social events including trivia nights, boat parties and a now annual ‘Paddy’s Gay’ event that showcases Irish inspired drag Kings and Queens at the Imperial Hotel.

For a decade now, SQI has provided a sense of belonging and home for those of us living down under. There is certainly no place like home!

 

Tickets to the SQI St Patricks Gay party at The Imperial 21st March 2020 are now available online

For more info on the SWBL head to their Facebook page

Celebrate the incredible women in your life, this IWD and every day!

 

People partying in a nighclub