A significant development was the welcome decision to increase affiliation fees, after this particular motion was defeated on three previous occasions, as members realise that increased finance is required to drive the sport forward.
Howard said: “”Camogie is making great strides but we must always aim to bring it to the next level in line with our strategic plan in relation to games development, greater participation, more effective administrators, along with greater PR and better marketing strategies.””
Howard congratulated Joan O’Flynn after the Cork native was voted in as President-elect in Athlone last weekend and vowed to leave the Association in good hands when she steps down herself next year.
Significantly, Kerry voted at Congress for the first time in a number of years after setting up a county board in 2007 while Mayo delegates, even though they had no voting rights this time, were also present after setting up their own county board last month.
There has been a huge increase in the number of new camogie clubs established over the last five years and it is estimated that 40 clubs have come on stream.
Howard praised the work of Mary O’Connor, the director of camogie development, and she is also delighted that rejuvenated Kilkenny and Galway will contest the eagerly-anticipated Division 1 league final later this month.
Howard said: “”I am delighted to see Kilkenny back in a final as they have been dormant for the last few years, which is never good to see.
“”The Tribeswomen have made great strides also through the efforts of their manager and former Galway goalkeeper Liam Donoghue, along with Damien Coleman.””
The Division 2 final will be a repeat of last year’s Gala All-Ireland junior decider between Clare and Derry, a nail-biting game the Ulster county won courtesy of a last-gasp injury-time goal.