The Camogie Associaion hosted another successful Congress this weekend, this time at Limerick’s Radisson Blu Hotel.
In terms of personnel, the big changes occurred in the composition of the Ard Chomhairle, with five new members being voted in to replace the outgoing secretary and provincial delegates.
Welcomed onto Ard Chomhairle are Leinster chairperson Pat Martin, Connacht delegate Kitty Morley, Leinster delegate Hilda Breslin, Munster delegate Fiona Casey and the new secretary, Sheila O’Donohoe.
They replace a quartet whose contribution during their term was much valued and appreciated: outgoing secretary and Munster delegate Marie Kearney, outgoing Leinster chairperson Rachel Hogan, outgoing Leinster delegate Mary Connor and outgoing Connacht representative, Geraldine McGrath.
The increasing health of the game was a strong focus of the weekend but the determination to continue the upward graph is clear, as evidenced by the aims laid out in the new four-year development plan Our Sport, Our Future.
These are wide-ranging but centre around on- and off-field issues such as the increase of active membership, the retention of players, facilitating a strong club structure with a streamlined fixture programme and supporting the volunteers. There is also a commitment to integrate further with the GAA, to pursue a broadcasting deal and secure further commercial partnerships.
There was plenty positive commentary too surrounding the keynote address of Camogie Association president Catherine Neary.
The president shone a spotlight on the role played by some of camogie’s pioneers in the Easter Rising of 1916, including Bridget Foley, who played in the first official game of camogie ever in 1904, as well as some who would go on to have a significant influence on the sport, such as the longest-serving president, Mollie Gill.