Camogie Association president, Catherine Neary highlighted the need to encourage participation at underage level, when she made her keynote address at the Association’s Congress in Croke Park this weekend.
“Ultimately Camogie is about participation, players will not stay if they feel that they are not valued and allowed to develop and take part in matches” said Neary in her speech delivered on Saturday.
“We need to challenge a particular attitude that seems to be prevalent in all sport. I am talking of the attitude that winning is everything, the be-all and end-all of sport, the only measure of success that is worth valuing. By only measuring success in terms of winning something means that at the end of the playing season the vast majority have failed.”
“As an association we need to be challenging our young players to improve and that winning a match is not the only good measure of improvement. Players learn more by participating in games than they do by standing on the side-lines.”
The Kilkenny woman also highlighted the progress being made in many areas as a result of the implementation of the Association’s National Development Plan for 2016-2019, ‘Our Sport, Our Future’.
She highlighted continued increases in attendances at September’s All-Ireland Finals which were the highest attendance in ten years with over 20,000 present on the day. The Association’s membership has also grown by 5% for the second consecutive year, and the Association also saw a 20% increase in terms of sponsorship revenue.
The Uachtarán also welcomed her successor Kathleen Woods who was elected unopposed as the Association’s Uachtarán Tofa.
The Armagh native will take up the role of Uachtarán at 2018’s Annual Congress in Kilkenny, and spoke of her honour at being elected to the position stating “I’d like to thank all of the Provinces for their nominations and I accept it as a vote of confidence. It is very humbling given that our association at every level is directed, advised and administrated by amazing people to whom I extend my thanks”.