Clubs will suffer as Vodafone dials out
the end of Vodafone's sponsorship of the GAA's football championship is a blow to the Association whichever way you look at it. Sponsors are in short supply these days and news of one pulling out is far more frequent then news of one coming in.
But Vodafone followed their announcement with another blow -- their Support Your GAA Club programme is also coming to an end next month, with final payments to be made in December.
Under the scheme, Vodafone customers registered the name of the club they wanted to support and the company then donated five per cent of their bill to that club. The cheques were never huge, but they were always welcome and the scheme was a valuable piece in the funding jigsaw.
It will be badly missed.
* * * * *
Katie Taylor may be 1/3 to win gold at the 2012 Olympics but here at From the Stands we think that she might not have it all her own way.
Women's boxing has increased in popularity since its addition to the programme for the 2012 Olympics. The signs were evident at the women's world championships last week. Taylor struggled against Queen Underwood in the semi-final and far from taking away from her achievement, she really had to battle to secure her place in the final.
For the world championships the number of participants increased by more than 50 per cent compared with the 2008 edition, even though the number of weight categories has been reduced from 13 to 10.
Furthermore, the number of participating countries has increased by almost 80 per cent, from 42 in 2008 to 75 this year.
* * * * *
The exclusion of Seamus Coleman from the Irish squad for the Russia and Slovakia games was the cause of many raised eyebrows amongst journalists at last week's squad announcement. When Giovanni Trapattoni was asked about the reasoning behind his decision, he explained that Coleman, a right-back, would not be able for Andrei Arshavin who plays on the left wing.
He later went on to say that the Russians interchange their positions quite a lot. "They stay 10 or 15 minutes on the left and then switch to the right," he explained.
While we are confident that John O'Shea can cope with Arshavin, we shudder to think what will happen when he switches over to Kevin Kilbane's wing.
* * * * *
THE Guardian carried a piece last Tuesday 'In praise of Gaelic sports' which, although mostly favourable towards the GAA, contained a number of glaring inaccuracies.
The paper claimed there was '. . . no need for stewards in high-visibility jackets or even police officers,' which of course there always is, if only to prevent a pitch invasion and protect the referee from irate Louth supporters.
They also contended that 'A few (players) have formed the Gaelic Players' Association in an effort to extract more payments. But the GPA has generally been unsuccessful in creating a professional wage structure.' Is this the same GPA which regularly emphasises its commitment to the maintenance of the GAA's amateur status?
But perhaps worst of all was the contention that '. . . the overwhelming majority (of players) will turn up for training after a day at the factory or working on the farm.' Surely our neighbours have heard that no one has a job at all in this country anymore?
* * * * *
Seneschalstown and Skryne go head to head today in the Meath senior county final. Proving that they are progressive clubs off the pitch as well as on it, both Skryne and Seneschalstown have their club fundraising lotto available to purchase online via the club website or through Locallotto.ie.
According to Michael Lynch, Skryne club secretary: "Having the lotto available online makes it more convenient for supporters, gives the club the opportunity to reach people no longer in the parish or former players living abroad -- we have a former player in Paris joined up. It is a great addition to our club website and the system is very efficient."
and Marie Crowe