Meet the Irish woman competing with Sky Sports, BBC Sport and BT!

To be captioned by Picture Desk

Irish woman Alison Donnelly is a doer. She knows what she wants, and she works hard to get it.

So, when her voluntarily-run website,, is among the Women’s Sports Trust #BeAGameChanger shortlist for UK Media Organisation of the Year alongside the likes of Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC, you know she’s a doer.

Already, the website has out-run the Daily Telegraph and First News in making the final three on the shortlist, with the voting closing this Sunday, April 19.

Born in East Cork, Donnelly moved to England nine years ago where she set up what is now the most respected women’s rugby website in the world.

After a stint with Sky Sports News and two years with the BBC, she became the head of communications for London’s Wasps Rugby Club. So sought after were her skills, she was just 27 when Wasps employed her. But prior to her move to Britain, she was the voluntary PRO for the Irish women’s rugby team for seven years — back when Grand Slam wins were what dreams were made of.

Having graduated with a BSc in Government from University College Cork and a Diploma in Journalism, she spent three years working with a local newspaper in Cork, and following her work at Wasps she took up a role with the British Cabinet Office. founder Alison Donnelly from Cork. founder Alison Donnelly from Cork.

At 31, her website is exclusively run by a loyal band of volunteers, and is the only organisation on the awards shortlist which represents just a single sport and is also the only website shortlisted.

In 2014, the website had visits from more than 130 countries, and in the past three weeks alone more than 15,000 people have visited to view its coverage of the Six Nations.

Donnelly was also vital in successfully lobbying the RBS Six Nations to reconsider plans to restructure the women’s tournament last year, and for also lobbying the IRB over the non-inclusion of women in their Hall of Fame.

The awards recognise those individuals and organisations doing the most to progress women’s sport in the UK.  The fact that is completely voluntary and up against the big guns who have finance to throw at their projects, Donnelly and her crew are more than deserving!

Ireland’s loss is their gain.


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