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First cousins and business partners Chloe Morey and Seadna Morey. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare cousins mine rich experience for move into business

Champion Chatter

Born a mere ten days apart, it’s not just their proximity of age that continues to bind first cousins Chloe and Séadna Morey together.

Their love of hurling and Sixmilebridge were obvious genetic gifts from their families but it’s what they did with those attributes that have shaped their life narrative.

Success on the field came early, with both garnering adult All-Ireland honours before finishing their teenage years.

Chloe started for Clare’s flagship camogie side, aged 15, in the 2008 All-Ireland Junior Final against Offaly and would be honoured with a prestigious All-Star in 2013.

Séadna was part of a historic new crop of hurlers that landed back-to-back Munster Minor crowns at the beginning of the last decade, following up with a hat-trick of provincial and All-Ireland honours before the holy grail was achieved at senior level in 2013.

That’s not all though as since November 2021, the Morey cousins are also in business together as they combined their love of fitness and coaching to create Morey Movement training facility in their native Sixmilebridge. Not that they took much notice of all these parallels…

“Yes, Seadna has been following me all of his life,” began Chloe.

“Ah no, on a serious note, I would say that we’re both very driven in what we do. I don’t think Séadna and I are the type to be sitting on a bar stool and me talking about my All-Star from 2013 and Seadna talking about his All-Ireland wins or anything like that.

“I’m always mad to see what else I can do whether that’s the business, teaching or playing camogie. We never settle so maybe that’s why we still keep going back for the torture.”

By the ‘torture’ Chloe means the dreaded inter-county winter training which is always unseen and invariably grim but invariably referenced when a team does win a championship crown in the summer.

“We have Clare Camogie and the Clare hurlers using our facility now which is class so there has been 40 plus girls using the facilities over the past few weeks.

“For myself, I’m getting old now, it’s my 15th year and I’ll give it one last lash I’d say and probably leave it at that so I’m excited for the year ahead as I plan to leave no stone unturned.

“The way I’m looking at it really is that this could be my last November doing this and my last December so that’s the way I’m approaching it to motivate me through the winter months.”

For many Clare Camogie supporters and pundits, 2022 was seen as a huge leap in the right direction as the Banner, off the back of a competitive National League campaign, were within a whisker of a provincial senior and junior double before their cruel six matches in as many weekends schedule put paid to their All-Ireland Championship knock-out qualification hopes.

“Our Munster Championship was brilliant and I see that Doireann Murphy has been named as the Munster Camogie Player of the Year and rightfully so because she was exceptional. So was the likes of Clare Hehir so how they didn’t get All-Star nominations I’ll never know.

“We have some brilliant, brilliant players and the attitude has thankfully changed too because it shouldn’t be about being happy to put it up to Cork, we were cross that we didn’t beat Cork in the Munster Final.

“I think a lot of the attitude change is from Clare girls playing on college teams and being so successful with clubs because they genuinely feel they’re supposed to be up there competing for honours. When I started out Clare teams were always hoping to do well and hoping to win whereas young players now expect to be competing at the top.

“Unfortunately I have to chase around those young players on the field and it’s getting harder and harder so I’ll give it one last lash and see what happens.”

Making the breakthrough wasn’t an issue meanwhile for the Clare hurlers who in contrast exceeded all expectations by soaring to Liam MacCarthy Cup success for the first time in 16 years nine years previous.

However despite their U-21 core, Clare failed to replicate that storied year thereafter.

“It was amazing at the time,” admitted Séadna.

“At the time you were saying to yourself, this is great, we’ll be there or thereabouts every year and we’ll be going to Cancun and New York every winter.

“But we didn’t progress the way we wanted to and it got frustrating but realistically you can only take it year-on-year and you have to try and forget about the failures of the previous year and look to see how you can improve for the coming year.

“Unfortunately we just could never get back to that level that we were at in that earlier stage.”

What inter-county life did instil in the Morey cousins however was a love of fitness which over time and county board resources grew into dedicated strength and conditioning programmes to where it is now a prerequisite from a development squad age.

“I was introduced to strength and conditioning in my very first year with Clare [senior],” recalled Séadna.

“There was a little bit at minor level but fundamentally getting big and strong was all people thought about. It was about lifting as heavy as you could and there wasn’t really any proper supervision on it and I ended up getting hip surgeries at 22 from wear and tear so I kind of associate that with what I was doing back then.

“As the years went on at inter-county level, you could see S&C gain ground and every year it got better and better as we were consulting with professionals.

“When we started off, the attitude was just to get lads to fill out the jersey but then as the years progressed, an S&C coach got on board, then a Sports Psychologist or Sports Scientist and the applications to it then was incredible.”

It was a similar pathway for Chloe throughout her inter-county career which has now remarkably taken up half of her entire life.

“S&C doesn’t remotely look the same from when I started. When I was 15, you were just put on a field and I don’t know if a squat was even a word back then.

“It’s a world apart from that now but I would say S&C is vital now and especially for someone like me because as you get older, it’s one of your non-negotiables when you’re playing inter-county, you have to do your gym work.

“It’s not about getting big and bulky, it’s literally armouring yourself for what’s to come over the year because inter-county is getting more professional and elite and is almost becoming a full time job in itself so you have to prepare your body for those things.”

So on the eve of their first anniversary in business, what makes Morey Movement stand out?

“There are loads of different fitness classes around such as spinning, HIIT and circuit classes and they’re all brilliant but where we’re coming from is the concept of ‘wouldn’t it be great if you could get every age category, every person that thinks they’re not supposed to be in a gym environment into a gym environment for resistance training and show them that there’s something for everybody’.

“We wanted to make it really inclusive and coach those aspects of resistance training. So rather than just coming in for a hell for leather 45 minutes, we wanted to make it something that was very functional, that you could see improvements in your everyday life and also be sustainable too so that they’d like to come back.

“Also from a social point of view, we wanted to make it a real community feel so I think they were the main motivations behind it.”
Seadna takes up the story…

“We as players realise the importance of going to someone who is professional and qualified so we are now applying that to people here in Morey Movement.

“I mean you always hear about people going to the gym and often they don’t really know what they’re doing and don’t know how to lift properly and then you’re worried about getting injured or getting a set-back.

“So the fact that we can provide classes that are almost like one-to-one that we can train people and make them understand why they’re doing what they’re doing is the big thing.

“We don’t do any exercise that isn’t benefitting you so from our learnings throughout our fitness careers and the ten plus years we have been doing S&C with Clare, we’ve applied that hopefully onto our clients here and we’re seeing benefits in the first year anyway so it’s about keeping it going.”

It’s going so well that Morey Movement is not looking to expand its class options to cater for the demand, a welcome headache as Chloe and Seanda strive to juggle their hectic work/sport/gym/life balance. That equilibrium wasn’t always attainable though as both have taken breaks from their inter-county commitments in recent years.

“I just needed to recharge the batteries so I’m glad I took the break a few years ago because it made me see how much I do love camogie and if you’re going to do it, to do it 100%,” outlined Chloe.

“Taking a break was the best thing I ever did just to recharge, with the mentality of finding the fun of camogie again. That’s the most important thing because camogie is a hobby at the end of the day but I was much too serious about it before that.

“It consumed way too much of what I did which was unhealthy because my camogie ended up suffering as well. I used to go training in a bad mood, be at training in a bad mood and come home in a bad mood so thankfully I’ve come back full of love for it again.”

Séadna stepped aside from the Clare hurling squad at the end of the 2020 season and while he admits the love and desire to put on the Saffron and Blue jersey still burns brightly, he hasn’t committed to ending his self-imposed inter-county recess just yet.

“Much like Chloe, I prioritised hurling too much. In reality when you’re hurling you should be fully focused on hurling and when you’re not hurling you should focus on that but I was just totally focused on hurling.

“And it got to the stage that I was getting frustrated and wasn’t enjoying what I was doing when I was heading to Caherlohan or going training. I just didn’t want to be there so I just totally re-evaluated what I was doing.

“I’m the type of person that if I’m doing something, I’l do it 100% so I said ‘look we’re going setting up our own business so I just really want to put my focus on that as well as being in the process of trying to build my own house.

“Now it wasn’t easy to step away and it’s something that I never said I was closing the book on but overall I’m happy that I did step away in order to re-evaluate my life outside of hurling as well which I have done in the last two years.”

Watching Clare’s hugely encouraging rollercoaster adventure this year though, Séadna admits to being a better player than supporter.

“It was an unbelievable year for the lads. I suppose I was frustrated in a way when I was watching it because on one hand I was delighted for the lads as they had a really successful year but the bottom line is that you just wanted to be there.

“I wanted to be on the field every time they took to Thurles especially the Limerick matches and you’d be envious how well they played and wishing that you were just there to help them and impact in any way you could for the group.

“The love for it has never really left in a way.”

So is a comeback potentially on the cards for 2023?

“If the opportunity arose and as long as I felt that I could make an impact to the group and be a positive coming back in, I would definitely consider it.

“And as long as I could commit to it too as I don’t want to go in half-arsed to it or give it 50% because my life is fairly hectic at the moment between the gym, house and work so it can be stressful.

“So if the opportunity arose, I’d consider it and have a chat or anything like that but look, we’ll see how the winter goes as I need to prioritise what I need to do next year as well.”

Such is their relentless passion and drive that one would imagine the TV isn’t even plugged in in their respective Morey households.

About Eoin Brennan

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