LIBBY Coppinger finished 2022 in style by adding a Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star monthly award to her collection.
In November the St Colum’s dual star picked up her first Camogie All-Star, a fitting reward for her outstanding year in the Cork full-back line, and her stellar season didn’t go unnoticed in West Cork either.
Amongst family and friends, Coppinger was delighted to receive a West Cork Sports Star monthly award; it’s close to home and it means a lot.
‘The big awards are great but the West Cork Sports Star award means a lot,’ Coppinger told The Southern Star.
‘It is so special, and having my family here with me is lovely. Knowing you have your local area and the people from there backing you is a great feeling.’
While the dual star will kick off her inter-county season this month with the Cork footballers, Coppinger enjoyed the off-season after last season. It was a chance to recharge the batteries before she goes again this year, on two fronts.
‘The last couple of years, and not just 2022, have been crazy in that the (camogie) seasons have kind of been blending in together. That’s why it was good to have that bit of downtime,’ she said.
‘Everyone on the Cork senior camogie panel put so much time and effort into the 2022 season. We gave it our all. To come up short by one point to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final was heart-breaking to be honest.
‘That’s why, sometimes, you just need to take a break and get some time away. It was good to have the chance to focus on our clubs straight after alright. Having a month or two off at the end of the year, just time to recharge the batteries more than anything else, and mentally switching off was important.’
Being an inter-county dual player means the demands on Coppinger’s time and fitness levels will be daunting once action recommences this month.
‘You are always trying to find the right balance,’ Coppinger agreed.
‘You try to do a bit of everything – football and camogie – whenever you can. I was happy after we had our first Zoom meeting with the Cork camogie senior strength and conditioning coach, Dr Wesley O’Brien. He is on the same page as the players, making sure we are not overloading but not underloading either.
‘That is why it is crucial to find the right balance. I’ll admit that it’s difficult to manage things as a dual player but both Shane (Ronayne) and Matthew (Twomey) were very good to me last year when it came to managing my training sessions. If you think about the demands of a dual player too much it might put you off!’