Sliotar

  1. Ale Mercado illustration for Poem Sliotar by Niamh Moore

Standing on the pitch with your hurl in your hand,
Remembering all the tactics your coach has planned,
The shouting, the screaming and the whistle blows –
But what’s going through my head, nobody knows.

Is it in my head,
Or is playing something that I dread,
The pressure of the game,
If we lose am I to blame?

When the final whistle blows,
The relief I feel shows –
The win or the loss,
My team won’t be cross,

For after all it’s all in my head,
When all is done and all is said,
It is only a game with a stick and a ball,
Happiness is what matters above all.

Note From Editor
This was the first poem I received about sports that was written by a girl, and I was so glad to see it! Research shows that teenage girls are still really excluded from playing lots of team sports, and miss out on the skills and the mental health benefits they offer. It’s great to see young women excelling in team sports, and I thought the positive, uplifting philosophy in this piece was very inspiring. As with everything in life, it’s not about coming first but about taking part and enjoying yourself. I enjoyed the frankness of this piece, the straightforward way the poet described the complex feelings and pressures involved in playing with a team, as well as the positives and the highs, the obvious love of the game.

What do you feel passionate about? How does it feel to put that passion on paper and share it? Submit your poems to Rhyme Rag , and you might be the next poet to have your work illustrated on the Rhyme Rag website!