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Republic of Ireland football captain Katie McCabe on why ‘women are deadly’


By Sarah Finnan
15th Apr 2022

@katie_mccabe11

Republic of Ireland football captain Katie McCabe on why ‘women are deadly’

Ireland women’s soccer captain Katie McCabe talks confidence, self-esteem and how important it is to help younger generations realise their full potential. 

A proud Tallaght woman through and through, Katie McCabe plays for FA WSL club Arsenal and is the current captain of the Republic of Ireland women’s national football team. 

Leading one of the strongest panels ever fielded by the women’s squad, she’s cemented her status as one of the country’s top competitors and has been a huge role model to aspiring athletes all around Ireland. Always outspoken about both the highs and the lows of her career, 

Recently named the Dove Self-Esteem Project ambassador for this year, Katie has teamed up with the brand to encourage conversations around confidence – particularly when it comes to women in sport. 

According to an in-depth research study carried out by Dove, 6 in 10 boys and 9 in 10 girls do not have high body self-esteem… a figure which inevitably has a knock-on effect in all areas of life. The same study also concluded that 62% of Irish boys and 70% of Irish girls have not attended an extracurricular activity because of the way they have felt about their appearance. 

Hoping to combat this alarming statistic with their new initiative, the self-esteem project is an online tool created to help parents, guardians and teachers foster positive body image in young people by disarming beauty ideals and providing supportive resources to combat the noise. 

Obviously, a cause she holds quite close to her heart, we spoke to Katie about what being part of such an initiative means to her.

What is confidence to you? 

Having a good level of confidence – that doesn’t go beyond cockiness – is so important. Being confident yet grounded is the balance we should all strive for. Surrounding yourself with people who ground you is key throughout all stages of your life.

What is the best life advice you’ve ever received?

Let your feet do the talking. People are always going to say something about your performance, you can just do your best on the pitch every single time.

What’s something you wish you knew when you were younger?

People are going to accept you for who you are only once you have the confidence to be your true self.

Perfectionism can often stop people from trying new things. How do overcome negative thoughts in such situations?

Believe in yourself, everyone’s idea of perfect is different. In my eyes, there is no such thing as being perfect. Being who you truly are will allow you to exceed in every area of your life.

As the captain of the women’s national football squad, what has being part of a team taught you?

It’s taught me how important it is to have a support system that I can trust. It’s taught me the power of having people support you in low times and celebrate with you during the highs. It makes life that much sweeter. 

How do you handle the stigma around women in sports?

It empowers me to want to prove them wrong – women are deadly!

Who are your own personal self-esteem heroes?

My sisters. We’ve all really supported each other throughout our different stages of life. I’ve seen them go through their teenage years, having kids of their own, becoming career women. They inspire me to have the confidence to succeed.

Why did you get involved with the Dove Self-Esteem Project?

Dove are truly passionate about making a difference in the self-esteem of the younger generation across Ireland. This drew me in immediately. I can relate to the struggles some young people are having growing up and I see the same thing with my own 14-year-old sister, Lauryn, now. I want to use my platform to inspire the next generation to reach their full potential and feel good about who they are. It’s our obligation to make a change.  

Resources from Dove’s Self-Esteem Project are available for teachers, parents, mentors, and youth leaders across Ireland to download here