Well, it has started, the 80th All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship. Starting the ninth decade of inter county championships is an outstanding feat in women’s sport and much has changed in Camogie since the first senior series in 1932.
Not least that this year’s senior championship will comprise games over seven consecutive Saturdays. Add in stirring contests at Intermediate, Premier Junior and Junior B levels, and it’s a feast of Camogie!
I’ve been talking lately about sporting equality.
What I mean by that is create a sporting future where differences between boys and girls, men and women are unimportant; where participation in sport, its profile, facilities, resources and decision making are mutually shared and the benefits of these are mutually enjoyed. We’re working hard towards that.
More women than ever are playing or watching sport and wearing the team colours. But just as sport played by men is not for men only, sport played by women is not for women only! It is really important that girls and boys grow up understand that sport is for all; that women are major sports achievers and that Camogie stars are well accomplished with a hurley and sliothar!
One way of fostering positive attitudes towards women in sport is to get more people to appreciate it in its own right.
With a fabulous programme of competitive Camogie action over the summer it’s a tremendous chance to give people the opportunity to do just that by introducing the game as widely as possible to everybody in our communities.
That’s why our new partnership with RTE Sport for the 2011 championship is great news.
Enhanced live coverage on Saturday Sports on RTE Radio, The Sunday Game on TV and on the web via RTE Player, along with growing support from other national and local media brings Camogie further into the mainstream. That’s where we want to stay.
Bring a buddy and make a difference!
You’re probably saying that’s all well and good but what can I do? Well, next time you’re going to a Camogie game, how about bringing along somebody who hasn’t seen the game before? It’s a simple but sure way a making a difference! Let them see for themselves the quality and standard of our game, our passion.
Now that the All Ireland championship has started many county boards are again, this year, organising mini games to coincide with inter county games and doing local promotion of their championship games.
These all made a difference last year when we had our best attendances ever. There was an excellent crowd, that I was part of , in Wexford Park for the All Ireland champions’ first game in defence of their title against Galway recently. This showed how local promotion of championship games brings in the supporters and makes the difference. Keep up the good work on this again in 2011.
Before I sign off, a plug for Galway’s Craughwell Camogie Club’s initiative to achieve a Guinness World Record for an uninterrupted 24 hour Solothon by 30 very fit players! They are aiming to be first hurling/camogie club in Ireland in the Guinness Book of Records and while doing so also raising funds for the club and breast cancer. I’ll be there but don’t expect to last the 24 hours! Amazing!
Enjoy the games over the summer.