Jamie Heaslip jokes he hopes to “gently push” daughters into sports

Pic: G. McDonnell/Cathal Burke/VIPIRELAND.COM

Jamie Heaslip is a proud girl dad. He jokes that he is in a “house full of women”.

His two daughters four-year-old Harper and one-year-old Evie are the apple of his and his wife, Sheena’s eyes. Like all parents, he wants what is best for them.

Even if that means that they don’t follow in his footsteps onto the rugby field. Although he wouldn’t be against it per se.

“They can play. They can do whatever they want. One of them is four and one of them is one, I’m already seeing the difference between the two of them. The youngest one is going to be wild. She has that glint in her eye,” Jamie tells VIP Magazine at the launch of the Six Nations coverage at the Aviva Stadium.


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”It doesn’t matter to me if I had girls or boys, I am a big believer in getting them to play absolutely everything. She’ll be five in the summer, so she’s getting to that age where she can play most of the sports. I’m a big believer in team sports, whatever it is.

”I will gently push them into all sports and activities. Then let them decide. I would never force what I did on them. Obviously, push them into sports, but they tell me to p**s off,” he laughs.

He’s delighted with the steps that Irish rugby is making to be more inclusive. Including swapping the white shorts for navy shorts in the women’s team.

”You make sure you have as much diversity and inclusion as you can in your organisation. But then you do something as simple as changing the colour of the shorts and the penny drops a little bit. It’s so simple but it can make such an impact,” he tells us.

Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

”I look at this as a father to two young girls, I live in a house full of women. I didn’t have that point of view or perspective until now. I hope there are more things that we can do. The women’s game is growing phenomenally fast, globally. The more we can do to make people feel comfortable and get involved in the game.”

The Six Nations kick off on February 4th with coverage airing across RTÉ and Virgin Media

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