Littlewoods Ireland was today joined by four elite Camogie players to launch the 2022 Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues, including four-time All-Ireland winner with Cork and 2019 All-Star winner, Amy O’Connor, two-time All-Ireland winner and double All-Star for Kilkenny, Grace Walsh, along with 2021 Camogie Leagues Division 1 title winner with Galway, and 2020 All-Star, Orlaith McGrath and Waterford captain and 2020 All-Star, Niamh Rockett.
Through its title sponsorship, Littlewoods Ireland is encouraging people to attend and support their county at games across the country this year. Following reduced attendance at games due to public health restrictions, the 2022 Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues will see the return of supporters, meaning that people in communities across Ireland can return to matches, support their county, and enjoy the experience, atmosphere and excitement in-person. Division 1 of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues is kicking off Saturday 5th of February with 2021 All-Ireland champions Galway taking on Offaly and Kilkenny challenging Limerick, while Tipperary will go head-to-head with Down.
Littlewoods Ireland understands that Camogie is more than just a sport; gathering for matches is integral to the social fabric of communities in counties around Ireland. And supporters across Ireland can now get excited at the prospect of attending games this year and supporting their county. The finals are scheduled for the weekend of the 9th and 10th of April and the Division 1 final will be played in Croke Park in front of thousands of supporters – an experience not to be missed.
To gain insight into the public’s connection with Camogie, Littlewoods Ireland conducted research in April 2021. This research revealed that although half the population (51%) are GAA fans, disappointingly the majority of the population (89%) cannot name a current inter-county Camogie player. Following the 2021 Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues, Littlewoods Ireland conducted follow up research which demonstrated that the dial had shifted in a positive direction with recognition of players increasing from 11% to 15% within the time the leagues had taken place.
Littlewoods Ireland is 100% committed to Camogie. They are calling on the nation to go to an upcoming Camogie game and support their county and the players by purchasing tickets on www.camogie.ie, tickets will be released each Tuesday during the leagues. A selection of games will also be streamed on the Camogie Association’s Official YouTube Channel.
Littlewoods Ireland Ambassador and Cork’s Amy O’Connor said: “I couldn’t be more excited about the launch of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues. Last year was hard not having family, friends and fans being able to attend some of our matches. I am hopeful that the great work Littlewoods Ireland is doing with their 100% commitment to Camogie will help increase awareness of the sport. We work extremely hard for the love of the sport, every team across all divisions have athletes of immense talent and we deserve the support and recognition any other code receives.”
Littlewoods Ireland Ambassador and Kilkenny’s Grace Walsh also said: “The fact that 51% of the population are GAA fans but 85% cannot name a Camogie player is disappointing but unfortunately I am not shocked. 2022 will allow spectators to be back on the side-lines and having that atmosphere reignited will breathe life into the teams. Having the support of Littlewoods Ireland over the past six years brings me hope that we can reform the current lack of connection with the sport by getting more supporters to the games! I am buzzing for Saturday’s game. There is no better feeling than representing your county and taking those first steps onto the field and it will be even better if we can help inspire people across the country to take part, give Camogie a go and support their counties by attending games in a safe way.
Littlewoods Ireland Managing Director Rossa Butler stated: “This is our sixth year as title sponsor of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues. The Camogie players that take to the field do so having lived and breathed the game for most of their lives, they are athletes of immense skill, talent, substance, and strength. They are the heroes of the sport who have mastered a game like few before them but lack of exposure for the game in general has rendered them not as visible to many across the country. Our objective is always to showcase Camogie for the phenomenal sport that it is and inspire people to get behind the sport and the players. Last year we had the final in Croke Park, and we are delighted that it will again be played in the stadium. We hope that the further exposure to the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues by fans being allowed back in the stands and streams being available will encourage a greater connection with Camogie across the board.”
Speaking about the upcoming Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues, Uachtarán of the Camogie Association, Hilda Breslin said: “We are delighted to launch this year’s Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues and get prepared for another year of exciting Camogie action. I would like to wish all our counties, players, management teams and match officials the very best of luck as they prepare to get this year’s league campaign underway.”
She added; “I would also like to thank our title sponsors Littlewoods Ireland for their dedication and support of our Leagues. Their enthusiasm and commitment to the promotion of Camogie has continued to flourish and we are very thankful for their sponsorship of our leagues.”
The Camogie Association will be live streaming a number of games throughout the Leagues for free on the Camogie Association’s YouTube. Details of all fixtures can be found here. Follow Littlewoods Ireland and #StyleOfPlay on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.