Cora Staunton began playing football at the age of seven in her local school in Carnacon. Shortly after that she started playing with the local boys’ team as there was not an all-girl side at that age.
Carra, a local girls’ team, was formed for the Community Games when she was 10 but Cora continued playing with the boys’ side up to the age of 15. She played for Mayo at all age levels as well as her club, Carnacon – achieving great success with both and going on to be selected for Mayo ladies senior team at the age of 13, where she continues to play.
In 1998 at the age of 16 Cora lost her mother after a long battle with cancer and in turn lost interest in all sports for a while. In 1999 Mayo ladies senior team reached their first ever All Ireland final and the week before the match Cora suffered a broken collar bone in training and heartbreakingly missed out on playing the match. Fortunately Mayo won the All Ireland again in 2000 in a final where Cora scored 2:2 and subsequently received Player of the Year.
The following season saw Mayo lose the All Ireland final by a point which again led to heartache for Cora as it was a late kick-out mistake between herself and a teammate that resulted in a dramatic one point loss. But Cora and her teammates bounced back again in 2002 and 2003, winning back-to-back All Irelands.
It’s a tough sport and a broken jaw bone in her first college game in 2000 and tearing her cruciate in May 2003 – which she played on with until 2007 – are amongst the most serious injuries she has received.
As well as the success achieved at county level, Cora has won multiple titles with her club, Carnacon. They won their first All Ireland in 2002 which was followed by tragedy a few months later when she lost one of her good friends and a club mate in a car accident.
Carnacon have gone on to win four more All Ireland club titles since and Cora received her record equalling 10th All Star in 2015.
When becoming an Athlete Mentor, Cora said: “Sport and especially ladies football has helped me become the person that I am today and the Sky Sports Living for Sports initiative gives me the chance to share my story and the lessons I’ve learned along the way with young people. I hope I can inspire them to reach their full potential.”
- All Star
- Multiple All-Ireland Titles