Orla Prendergast- Irish Cricket International
Orla Prendergast - Irish Cricket International
Orla Prendergast, joined the Irish Cricket squad 2019 earning her first cap against the Netherlands. Last month she was Player of the Match in the 3rd of the recent 4 t20 internationals against Scotland. An all-rounder she plays for Leinster Typhoons where she was also Player of the Match in their game in May against the Scorchers, scoring 116 runs and taking 4 wickets. Orla started her cricket with her home club Pembroke CC. A student of Sports science in UCD she also earned representative honours playing U16 and U 17’s football for Ireland, but now concentrates solely on her cricket. She has taken some time out of her schedule to give Sportjobs a look at her busy schedule.
‘My weeks are generally quite busy with various training sessions and matches. During summer, we have two to three Irish skills sessions and two gym sessions each week. On top of that, there is one club training session and match a week. Then most weekends, we have an Interprovincial match so during the summer our schedule is quite hectic. Our skills and gym sessions are spaced out around the week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and our interprovincial matches are on Sundays meaning we have some rest days which are important and well-utilised. The busy schedule also means factors such as diet, sleep and recovery are really important. We have an excellent sports nutritionist and sports psychologist, so we are regularly reminded of the importance of the above factors.
Outside training, I coach in my club, Pembroke cc, so this fills up some of the remainder of the week.
Our winter schedule differs slightly without regular club and interprovincial matches. We complete the same two to three skills and gym sessions along with one to two running sessions. The schedule intensity increases slightly if we have an upcoming series or tour but generally the sessions are to the standard schedule.
The busy schedule has meant I have had to become much more time efficient and furthermore, start to plan my weeks precisely. I find that simple things such as packing my gear bag the night before or planning my meals and preparing them in advance really help me keep on top of the various parts in my schedule. Especially during winter, when our days are filled with other non-cricket related activities, such as college, planning is really important to lay-out the day.
Balancing college/school and cricket can be difficult. However, this year college was of course online therefore, a lot of lectures were recorded and could be viewed after the allocated lecture time. This really helped with balancing my training schedule and lectures. Next year, I expect it to be a little more difficult with college hopefully being back on campus but with some planning, it will work itself out and become normal after a couple of weeks, I hope ! Whilst away on tour, missing college/school is definitely a challenge. We often have allocated free or study time on our itineraries which helps us to keep up with work, but it can be difficult to stay on top of it all with the various distractions while away. As a result the week after returning from a tour is often tough as there can be a lot of study work to catch up on.
In conclusion, while the busy schedule is so enjoyable, it can be challenging at times and definitely requires planning and organisation. However, the feeling of improving your game and skills is so rewarding and turning that into performances in matches makes it all very worth-while’.