Yesterday we heard the news that World number one Ash Barty has shocked the tennis world by announcing her retirement from the sport at the age of 25.
The reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open women’s singles champion says she wants to ‘chase other dreams’. Barty says she can’t wait to coach young people after retiring, which is indeed a classy noble cause. You have to do what makes you happy, it may be an old adage, but one that is so true. Too many people waste too many hours involved in things they detest.
So that is why it is great to hear success stories, of people who did indeed pursue their passion. Especially one so close to home, if you can see it, you can be it. It will take a while though to achieve the level of success experienced by local horse trainer John “Shark” Hanlon. The ‘Shark’ trained mare Skyace provided one of the great racing stories of the season last year. Purchased for just £600, Skyace was fourth in the Mares Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham before going on to win the Grade 1 Mares Novice Hurdle at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival.
Hanlon is also regarded as the person who convinced Rachael Blackmore to go pro. She rode her first winner on Hanlons Stowaway Pearl at Thurles in February 2011. I think in relation to the Barty News “Shark’s” recent words to Scoreline.ie are quite inspiring ;
“It is never too late to change, no matter what game you’re at or what it is. It is never too late to change. I was 40 when I went to train horses, and they thought I was stoned cracked.”
“Rachael Blackmore was in her late twenties when she turned pro, and they thought she was cracked. I am glad it worked out because if it didn’t people would think I was an eejit.”
Listen back to the full interview on Full Time with Sinead Kehoe :