Three Irish sports stars are to support the work of the National Dairy Council (NDC) in promoting the dairy sector this year.

Olympic rower Paul O’Donovan, footballer Vikki Wall and rugby player Eimear Considine have been named as the NDC 2022 sports ambassadors.

O’Donovan made history by winning Ireland’s first rowing gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo games in the lightweight men’s double sculls with Fintan McCarthy.

“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,” O’Donovan stated.

NDC ambassadors

GAA star Vikki Wall played a key role on the Meath team that overcame the five-in-a-row chasing Dublin panel to win the All-Ireland this year.

As an NDC ambassador, Wall will be taking part in events and providing professional insight of her training throughout the 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 takes 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,” Wall explained.

milk production scheme Dairy

Munster and UL Bohemians rugby player Eimear Considine has been part of the Irish women’s rugby union team since 2017.

“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,” Considine said.

Dr. Sharon Madigan, head of performance nutrition at the Sport Ireland Institute, noted that monitoring eating and drinking habits can impact the performance of athletes at all levels.

“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,” she said.