IN Ireland, Cora Staunton is a household name. Thrust into the spotlight from the age of 13, the four-time All-Ireland winning Mayo footballer is about to embark on a remarkable new journey, one that might prove her most challenging to date.
Shot over the course of six months, access-all-areas documentary Cora Staunton - The Greatest provides an exclusive insight into the unique and fascinating world of one of Ireland’s most famous ever footballing exports. It charts Staunton’s journey from Gaelic footballing superstardom to her attempts to break into the AFLW with Greater Western Sydney Giants.
The documentary, produced by Empire Elite Productions, and co-financed with Liberty Ireland, airs this Sunday (September 16) at 5.45 p.m. on TG4.
Speaking ahead of its television premiere, director Shauna Keogh of Empire Elite said: “Ireland has so many talented athletes right on our doorstep and we need to showcase those talents and celebrate their success. This is particularly important in female sport.
“Role models are key to changing perceptions. When more and more women are seen to succeed at the top of sporting organisations and on sporting field, the more this will be regarded as the standard and a perfectly normal, and logical, path to choose.
“Cora is at the top of her game and is such a committed player. She wants to do her upmost for her team in every single game she plays and to lead by example.”
Filming started in early 2017 when Staunton and her club were still playing in the All-Ireland Club Championships. The opening scene sees Staunton at her final club game saying goodbye to her childhood teammates before departing Ireland for the 'Big Leagues' of Australia.
Throughout the journey, we see what life is really like in the unforgiving world of professional sport.
“We initially planned on shooting in Australia for four to five weeks, however as Cora’s journey with the Giants progressed, there was no way we could walk away and not capture the reality of what was unfolding before our eyes”, stated Keogh.
“One of the real highlights of the documentary was Sonia O'Sullivan’s cameo at one of Cora’s first games. After the game she spoke to the players and the staff about having a little bit of Ireland in your corner and how that can go a long way.
“As an all-female production team, this really resonated with us all. Sonia and Cora are two of our greatest female athletes all the way over in Australia flying the flag for our country and that made for a proud moment.”
* Cora the Greatest – see the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydwjx6uC2FU