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Sports star Lindsay calls time on her rugby career

Lindsay Peat

Lindsay Peat

Lindsay Peat works with the HSE in primary care in Ballymun.  A multi-sport star, she has won 38 caps for the Ireland women’s rugby team, having made her debut in 2015.  Her final appearance was against the USA in the RDS last November. Despite her international rugby retirement, she has continued chasing silverware and won an All-Ireland with her club Railway Union at the end of February.  She has also played underage soccer for Ireland, represented her country at basketball and won an All-Ireland football title with the Dublin women’s team in 2010.


Explaining how she got involved in rugby,  Lindsay outlined how “out of loyalty to the parish and my beloved northside roots to be more specific. I moved house to the southside of Dublin in 2014 and did not want to join a different basketball or GAA club so decided it was maybe time to try something new.  I had been in touch with Shirley Corcoran from Railway Union Sports Club and took them up on the opportunity to join a brand new club and try a new sport.


Asked about sporting career highlights she replies that she has had “so many – I have been privileged to say the least. Playing in a home World Cup; Playing in the Big 12 game for Leinster against Quins; Playing in Twickenham against England; playing for the Barbarians; winning an All-Ireland with my club Railway Union.

The demands made on her time and energy is exhaustive, with her daily fitness routine when playing rugby particularly consuming: It means just generally having to ensure you have enough time and energy to be the best of yourself for both roles and that is very hard as some weeks when your sporting career may demand more time and you have to pay even more attention to detail to be two steps ahead so your work load and life do not suffer and you are not meeting the standards that you have set for yourself. I overcame it by learning from the mistakes and being more prepared in my workload and trying to pre plan much further ahead work wise especially around the time of the Six Nations. Doing video analysis during my lunch; cooking as much ahead of time as possible to remove that part of added stress in your week.”

Her career with the HSE chose her, she explains: “It chose me I think if I am honest. A friend of mine was working in our offices in Richmond Road and they were looking for staff and gave me a call to see if I would be interested in going for an interview and the rest they say is history.” 

Asked about how she applies her learning on the pitch to her work environment, Lindsay stresses the importance of planning and preparation: “This is a key area to juggling workload and being an elite athlete. Looking ahead week by week and making sure everything is planned and in order of priority as to what needs to be done from both a professional aspect in work and as an athlete preparing for international competition. Teamwork is really important  – being able to work as part of a team is key to success and this is not different in a professional setting especially in my current role working with a multidisciplinary team throughout my day to day work. Communication is a key tool to any successful team and a skill again I heavily rely on to form and build on successful working relationships.

'Essentials of life'

Hobbies and in particular sport Lindsay describes as the “essentials of life. Without sport I would not have the transferrable skills that I could bring into work but also how I cope in stressful situations and understanding what I need to relax and help me reset and cope with just everyday life and the strains and stress that it can bring. We must have outlets to help us regulate our emotions; deal with stress but also to bring us enjoyment.


Reflecting on what advice she might give her younger self, Lindsay suggests to “not act like you know it all! I learned more when I was honest and admitted that I didn’t know what I was doing or that I needed help. This can just help identify areas of strengths and weaknesses and I can goal set. I am a big believer in making mistakes and I would be telling myself to never be afraid to make mistakes but also to use them wisely,  to learn from them and trust your gut. I also allowed my professional career to take a back seat if I am honest and I would be telling my younger self to be as competitive and ambitious in this area of life as in my sporting life.

And as for future plans she concludes that she is “just taking stock of everything now over my sporting life and see where my strengths lie and look at where I can use those strengths in my professional career and into my next step in my sporting journey. I certainly want to look at transitioning into media if I got the opportunity hopefully and coaching is certainly something I want to get into but I will take my time and not rush into any major decisions.”