President’s February Blog
It’s a bit of a strange feeling at the moment, in the penultimate weeks of my three year term. All the National Committees also reach the end of their term and Annual Congress in Cork on 30th/31st March will be our final event.
That said, there are several important initiatives continuing. On the playing front these include:
• the Ashbourne/Purcell Finals, always a great weekend of action
• the commencement of the National League on 26th Feb
• the All Ireland Colleges’ finals (Junior and Senior)
• the second year of the Legends Tournament on 3rd March
• and of course, the big one, the All Ireland Club Finals in Croke Park on 4th March.
Celebrating in Monaghan
Meeting and getting to players at all levels of the games was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the past three years. Recently, I was in Monaghan to present the county team with their All Ireland medals for retaining the Máire Ní Chinnéide Cup. Along with Wexford, they were the only team to retain a national title in 2011.
I was glad to be present to also acknowledge the work of long serving County Board officers, Geraldine Clarke, Maretta Sherry and Anne McKenna who are synonymous with Camogie in the county.
I mentioned National Committees earlier. Often working behind the scenes, they have made a significant contribution over the past 36 months. Two new activities, completed under their guidance, will be revealed in March.
First Player Welfare Survey
The first will be the release of findings of the first ever Player Welfare Survey undertaken by the Camogie Association. Led by the Player Welfare Committee and Aoife Lane the survey gives a broad indication of what’s working well for players and welfare areas that they would like to see enhanced. This is an important study and provides baseline evidence on welfare issues affecting female athletes in Gaelic games.
Inaugural ‘thank you lunch’ for county volunteers of the year
The second initiative is the hosting of an inaugural lunch on All Ireland Club Finals Sunday to honour the volunteer of the year award recipient from each county. The introduction of the Volunteer of the Year in 2011 was an outstanding success. It’s appropriate that we say thanks for people’s selflessness and generosity. The National Volunteer and Officer Development Committee did a fine job in devising the criteria and process for the Volunteer initiative.
I met Minister Frances Fitzgerald recently at the third Information Day on Child Welfare and Protection held in Croke Park. It was great to see a strong presence of Camogie Children’s Officers at this event. The three Gaelic Associations, under the GAA’s Implementation Group on Best Practice in Youth Sport are currently working to finalise a single child welfare strategy to apply across all three bodies. Nothing else makes more sense. Camogie representatives are actively contributing to this as we work to ensure that our children are safe and feel safe in our clubs. Watch out for the common code, Our Games, Our Code over the next few months.
Camogie history on tour
There’s been a very positive response to the publication of A Game of Our Own, Camogie’s Story by Mary Moran. The history is hitting the road over the next few weeks. We’d love to see as many clubs on the following dates and launch:
• February 27th in Morgan Gaelic Athletic Grounds, Armagh
• March 23rd in Claregalway
• March 29th in City Hall, Cork.
Check out www.camogie.ie for further details nearer the date.
Uachtarán n hÉireann, Michael D. Higgins will also meet a Camogie delegation in Áras an Uachtaráin in mid March when we present him with a bound copy of the book.
Congrats to media award winners
Well done to all the entries and winners to the annual Media Awards, recently announced. Presentation of the awards is on 3rd March so a gala evening in store. Many thanks to the Communications and Website Committee; they have overseen this initiative for a number of years, in association with RTE.
Siobhán Ní Fhloinn