Wicklow camogie continues to rise
Over 150 people - players, mentors, family, friends, and supporters - attended Wicklow Camogie County Board's Presentation Night on Friday night (February 3) in Lawless' Hotel, Aughrim.
The night was a celebration of a very successful year for inter-county camogie, with medals being presented to the U-14 Leinster Development Blitz Division 3 winners, to the U-16 All-Ireland 'Progress to Success' Championship runners-up, and to the Leinster Junior Championship winners.
To mark the achievements of Wicklow, the County Board was delighted to welcome Leinster Camogie Council chairperson Pat Martin and Carlow County Board secretary and Leinster Camogie Council Registrar Linda Kenny.
Pat Martin was instrumental in encouraging the county to enter the Leinster Junior Championship and Linda Kenny very kindly brought along the Kay Mills Cup which Carlow received when they won the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship last September.
Also in attendance on the night were Wicklow Camogie Presidents Ann Lagrue, Kathleen McAllister, and Breda Byrne as well as members of the Executive.
The U-14 Development Squad was introduced by Development Officer Breda Donnelly with their medals and a team photograph presented by team sponsor Eugene O'Brien, Aughrim.
During 2016, the team played in blitzes hosted by Kildare, Meath and Carlow as well as the Leinster Blitz.
Team sponsor Fiona Mallick was also in attendance to celebrate the girls' achievements.
Carlow Camogie County Secretary Linda Kenny did the honours with the U-16 panel who were runners-up in the All-Ireland 'Progress to Success' Championship.
The team lost out to Tyrone in August in a thrilling final in what was a new initiative organised by the Camogie Association to offer a bridge from development squads to competition.
County Board Treasurer Breda Walsh introduced the Junior panel who brought the Leinster Junior Championship Cup back to Wicklow for the first time since 1978.
Played in Aughrim last June, the final against Louth has brought Wicklow back into inter-county competition after a gap of a few years.
Before presenting them with their medals, Leinster Council Chairperson Pat Martin congratulated the county for their success in 2016.
He highlighted how the Junior panel were role models for the underage players before wishing Wicklow well in its All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship campaign in 2017.
Serge Goetelen, County Board Chairperson, wrapped up proceedings, urging both clubs and the county teams to renew their commitment to camogie in 2017. The presentation night, whilst celebrating the achievements of 2016, was also a fitting start to the camogie year.
Club fixtures will kick off in mid-April with the first county fixtures getting underway in March in the Under-16C Leinster Championship.
The Minor Strike for Glory national competition also starts in March, with the Leinster Junior Championship set for May.
This will be ideal preparation for the Juniors' All-Ireland campaign, which will see the team take on Westmeath on July 1.
The County Board is currently seeking sponsorship for the Junior team and would welcome a partnership as Wicklow takes its adult team to the national stage.
The panel will be returning to training shortly under trainer Brendan Phelan and the county is confident its adult team will motivate both club and county teams in the sport.
With 15 camogie clubs in the county, Wicklow is fast becoming a presence in Leinster and national competitions and the County Board looks forward to teaming up with a sponsor to join it in one of the fastest-growing women's sports in the country.
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