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'I wasn't doing it for myself, I wasn't doing it for the team, I was doing it for God' - Ireland hockey star

Bethany and Serena Barr talk about their faith and their older sister Charlene who died in 2010.

Bethany and Serena Barr on the Late Late Show.
Bethany and Serena Barr on the Late Late Show.

TWIN SISTERS BETHANY and Serena Barr played their part in helping the Ireland hockey team qualify for their first-ever Olympics last weekend.

In front of a sell-out crowd at Donnybrook, Ireland sealed a historic win after a two-legged qualifier against Canada.

The battle was decided by a sudden death shootout after both legs ended in a scoreless draw, with Bethny Barr among the players who scored the crucial goals to edge the tie.

Members of the Green Army appeared on the Late Late Show last night to reflect on another huge achievement for Irish women’s hockey following their silver medal heroics at the 2018 World Cup.

The Barr twins were among the group.

Reflecting on the goal she scored during that dramatic shootout last weekend, Bethany Barr revealed that she prayed to help keep her focus in an intensely pressurised situation. 

Ireland were 3-1 down at that stage and Barr needed to score to keep Sean Dancer’s side in the hunt. Their faith is important to the Barrs and they both have crosses drawn on their arms carrying the term ‘AO1,’ which stands for ‘audience of one.’

“We would really aim to play to an audience of one which is Jesus. Our faith is something that’s very important to us.

When I went up to take the penalty, we were 3-1 down and it was something I kept repeating to myself – ‘audience of one.’ Because I knew if I missed, our dream was no longer going to be alive.

“It was something that gave me peace. I wasn’t doing it for myself, I wasn’t doing it for the team, I was doing it for God.”

The Barrs also spoke about their inspiring older sister Charlene who was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and passed away in 2010.

“In 2008, she was told that she needed a double-lung transplant to survive,” Bethany begins.

“She’d been out to Uganda with our whole family and she decided that if she had to drop out of school that she was going to raise money to build a school in Uganda so children there could get an education.

Sadly, Charlene passed away before the first school was built but we as a family have kept her vision alive. So in 2020 it’ll be 10 years since Charlene passed away and we’re aiming to build a secondary school for over 6,500 kids in Uganda.”

Charlene’s ambition to help children in Uganda inspired the formation of the group, ‘Charlene’s Project.’

Bethany explains that she was in Uganda working with Charlene’s Project during last year’s World Cup final where Ireland finished their incredible campaign with a silver medal.

“It was actually funny, you could only watch one channel in all the TVs in the guest house. So I had the whole guest house watching the World Cup final,” she recalls.

“I was out there doing work with Charlene’s Project doing education and sports, teaching hockey. That’s something that’s very close to our family and we’ve been back and forth to Uganda. So 2020 is a big year for us in many ways.”

She continues:

“Charlene was at one of our school hockey games 10 days before she passed away on 31 October which was just a few days before the qualifier [against Canada].

I think that was something special because we know she would have been there and she supported our hockey so much.

“It’s been a special time.”

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