The Back Page is a new festival of talking about sports. Brought to you by the people behind Banter and Bodytonic Music, it will feature all kinds of sports people talking about all kinds of sports. For our first outing, we have swimmers, athletes, football managers, snooker champs, rugby players and those who write about and talk about all of the above.
Full day by day programme below. Tickets for each session are now on sale here, including a special season ticket which will get you into every talk over the weekend.
THURSDAY MARCH 27
6.30pm Stage – Brian Kerr on the art of the gaffer
As well as being an astute and sharp pundit, Brian Kerr has been an international manager (Republic Of Ireland, Faroe Islands) and a club manager (St Patrick’s Athletic) so he knows all about controlling, directing and guiding the team from the sideline. The Back Page will quiz him about what it takes to be a manager, what makes a good – and bad – manager and who he rates in the game. Anyone who caught Brian in full flow at Banter a while ago will know to expect some witty, insightful and super-sharp thoughts.
8.00pm Stage – Go Deep with Steve Redmond
The endurance swimmer comes out of the water to talk (and talk). A former rugby player and triathlete, Steve is best known for successfully completing the Oceans Seven challenge, which entails swimming seven of the most difficult straits or channels across the globe, and was voted 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year. The Back Page will ask him about what he does and, more importantly, what drives him on to do more.
FRIDAY MARCH 28
6.30pm Stage – War Stories
Vincent Hogan (Irish Independent), Shane McGrath (Irish Daily Mail chief sportswriter) and Clare McNamara (RTE) compare scars and tall tales from life in the trenches writing and talking about sports. Chaired by Michael Moynihan (author of “GAAconomics” and sports writer with The Irish Examiner). Flak jackets and helmets available at the door.
6.30pm Basement – Online with Paddy Power
Michael Nagle from Paddy Power on how social media helped to turn a small Irish bookmaking set-up into a worldwide operation. We’ll hear about how the company has used social media to push their profile and build the brand, the ups and downs of this strategy, the way in which social media has changed the market, what’s the future for sports – and sportspeople – online and if our favourite athletes will continue to use Twitter to act the eejit
8.00pm Stage – A conversation with Ken Doherty
The don of the green baize talks sport as we join him on the road from Jason’s in Ranelagh to world snooker champion and well-regarded broadcaster with Sunshine FM
8.00pm Basement – A rough ride in Rwanda
Writer with The Observer, Tim Lewis is also the author of “Land of Second Chances: The Impossible Rise of Rwanda’s Cycling Team”, an incredible book about how the Rwandan cycling team overcame impossible odds to inspire a country which had been torn apart by the 1994 genocide. In conversation with Gavin Cummiskey from The Irish Times
SATURDAY MARCH 29
6.30pm Stage – GAAconomics
We all know – or think, anyway – that the GAA is loaded, but where exactly is the money and where does it come from? One of the best sports books of 2013 was“GAAconomics” by Irish Examiner journalist Michael Moynihan who set out on the trail on the money in the our national games. He joins us at The Back Page to uncover the money trail from the training pitch of your local club to the plush surrounds of GAA HQ in Croke Park. In conversation with Mick O’Keeffe
6.30pm Basement – The Summit
Nick Ryan is the director of The Summit, the powerful, magnetic and riveting documentary about what happened on the K2 expedition in 2008 which led to the deaths of 11 climbers who had successfully made their way to the top. It’s a compelling look at why people take this challenge on the peak which straddles the Himalayas between Pakistan and China – and the terrible, often fatal dangers even for the most experienced climbers
8.00pm Stage – The Anti Room on the gender politics of sport
Be it Premiership football, golf, rubgy or Formula 1, there is an on ongoing disparity between attitudes to, and coverage of, male and female sports. Sportswomen and commentators – Irish women’s rugy team captain Fiona Coghlan and writer, broadcaster and sports fan Elaine Buckley – join Sinead Gleeson to discuss sports, gender and the issues which women athletes face.
8pm Basement – Just A Bit of Banter Banter
Eamon Zayed (Shamrock Rovers and Libya), Dermot Keely (former player and manager, current newspaper columnist with The Irish Sun) and Ed Randolph (US born former basketball pro and coach now living in Dublin) recall tales of racism and sectarianism, on and off the field of play, discuss what needs to be done to deal with them in sport and how sport can, in the wider world, help to tackle them. Presented in association with Show Racism the Red Card and chaired by Emmet Malone from The Irish Times