Association to introduce new fees structure to bolster funds
It was a historic day for the Camogie Association at Westport as Congress decided to make membership an individual responsibility rather than the current club-based system.
From April 1, 2014 there will be four separate categories of members: over-18 players; youth players (U-18); administrators/ coaches/referees/non-players that are over 18; and a social membership for over-18s that are not seeking involvement in a club's administrative or games-related affairs.
At present, each club pays a €300 affiliation fee to the Camogie Association that covers all its members. From next year, each adult member will pay €23, with €5 of that retained by the county board, €2 by the provincial council and the rest entering central coffers.
The fee for youth members will be €13. Again, the relevant county board will retain €5, with €2 going to the provincial council and the remainder to the association.
The result will be that whereas membership is responsible for just 10pc of the association's income at present, that percentage will increase to 29pc of a greater overall figure.
"This is a huge move away from where we are," said Camogie Association acting director-general Mary O'Connor.
"We have time to plan what we want to do but a lot of the money will be earmarked for development. The certainty of knowing what the revenue will be will allow county boards and the provinces to plan year-on-year.
"The focus on development will be on a broad level, not just games. Raising the profile of the games and investing in good governance will be important too.
"But certainly, we will be looking to support coaching courses and putting programmes in place so that the costs aren't prohibiting people who want to play camogie."