Official Website of the Camogie Association

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President’s March Blog
Over the last 18 months we have spent much energy in developing our new six year National Development Plan Our Game Our Passion. The Plan will be launched at our forthcoming National Congress in Newbridge on 26th/27th March. It has five priorities:
        i.            Growing participation – includes expansion of our club base from 540 clubs to 750
      ii.            Improving performance – includes expansion of coaches and referees and focus on coaching and refereeing standards
    iii.            Volunteer support and developing – includes introduction of awards at county level for volunteer of the year and distinguished service award and focus on women as leaders in sport
     iv.            Enhancing Camogie’s profile – includes increasing attendances at games, more marketing and sponsorship and media coverage
       v.            Excellence in governance and organisational development – includes developing a Member’s Charter.
Through the combined efforts of all our volunteers from club to national level and overseas, our full time staff team and the support of others including the GAA, the Irish Sports Council, Sports NI, our sponsors and other bodies we can grow and strengthen Camogie even further. Check out over next few weeks to download your copy of the Plan.
Camogie achievements continue to get widespread recognition at local and national levels. Recently it’s been wonderful to have been part of three events where our City Halls and Town Councils acknowledged the sporting quality of our elite players and our game.  
À         In February, I joined the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Dara Murphy in Cork City Hall to welcome the 16 teams competing in the Ashbourne and Purcell Cups .
À         In early March, it was a privilege to be part of the Civic Reception afforded to the All Ireland Senior Club Champions by Cllr. Eddie Bennett Mayor of Cashel Town Council who was also joined by Tom Hayes TD and Mattie McGrath TD.
À         Last week, the clubs, county board, players and referees of Kildare Camogie joined with representatives of Kildare GAA, Kildare Community Games and other sporting bodies and  Cllr. Willie Hamilton Mayor of Newbridge Town Council to  launch the visit of our National Congress at the end of the month to Kildare for the first time.
This civic recognition of our sport is really important and enhances its status.
Our volunteers are also getting well earned recognition and special congratulations to:
À         Liz Howard, Iar Uachtarßn, who received the National Administrator’s Award in the annual Volunteer Awards run by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, the Irish Sports Council and the Federation of Irish Sports and  
À         Mary O’Donoghue (The Harps, Laois), who is the Camogie nomination for one of the GAA President’s Volunteer Awards presented at a reception in Croke Park on 16th March.
More awards to follow! The Camogie Association’s Annual Media Awards will be announced and presented at the Congress Dinner on Saturday 27th March. Eight awards in total will be announced. Four of these, in memory of former RTE sports presenter Mick Dunne, are sponsored by RTE and its Director General Cathal Goan will be in attendance. Again check out later in the month for details of the award winners.
On the pitch, the All Ireland Colleges’ competitions have reached their final stages. Well done to all the participants and mentors. Our national leagues are reaching their critical stages too with semi finals and play offs on the horizon.  
With the long evenings coming up, it won’t be too long now to the start of championship! If league form is a predictor of the championship last year’s senior semi finalists are all still going strong. Offaly and Laois look promising too. Roscommon settling in at a higher level and Kildare look evens for the Nancy Murray Cup. Still, that’s the beauty of championship – no real certainties and anything can happen.
Some of this year’s innovations include:
À         re-naming the Junior Championship to the Gala Premier Junior Championship
À         dedicating the Junior All Ireland Cup as the Kay Mills Cup in recognition of one of our greatest players
À         introducing assessment of referees for inter-county games and
À         reverting the senior championship to a league format with open draw for the semi finals.
æTil the next time.
Joan O’Flynn
Siobhan Ni Fhloinn
16 Marta 2010

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