Building on momentum and boosting participation now the key
Today represents one of the most highly-anticipated occasions in the Irish sporting calendar and an absolute pinnacle for camogie as a sport. The players will travel to Croke Park full of expectation and with the hopes of their county on their shoulders.
It has taken hard work, commitment and some heroic moments of brilliance to earn the right to take to the pitch today. It is these qualities which make it such an exhilarating and gripping fixture each year. The persistence and strength displayed by all teams in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Championships games are what makes this competition so enthralling.
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Last year, 21,453 spectators descended upon Croke Park for finals day. This represented a significant year-on-year increase on previous finals and reflects the growing appetite for women's sport. Talented camogie players are becoming increasingly prominent in the public eye, both on and off the pitch, as exceptional athletes and leaders.
At Liberty Insurance, we take pride in our contribution to the promotion of women in sport and the emerging generations of female athletes proving themselves at club and inter-county level.
We will continue to work with the Camogie Association to further raise the profile of the sport and drive participation rates across the country.
We encourage women around Ireland to take part in sport, either in an athletic or leadership capacity.
In the camogie community, these athletes, managers, and coaches inspire girls and young women to take up the sport and play it at club and inter-county levels.
Earlier this year, we launched the Liberty Insurance 'Women in Sport: A Coaching Effect' symposium. Our research showed that 68 per cent of Irish adults believe that more female sports coaches would encourage more young women to participate in sport; 74 per cent say female coaches are a positive role model for young women.
As part of our 'Camogie Made Us' campaign, we began our search to find the most dedicated, inspirational and committed camogie coaches in Ireland.
Players, as well as members of the public, were asked to explain why their coach should receive special recognition, and why their club should win €7,000, among other prizes.
Today, we are happy to announce and congratulate the winners: Anne Costello from Bredagh Camogie Club in Down and Charlotte Brenner from De La Salle Camogie Club in Waterford. Congratulations, too, go to Cathal Parcéir from Good Counsel Camogie Club in Dublin; Aideen McCormack from Banner Camogie Club in Clare; and Peter Doherty from Edendork Camogie Club in Tyrone who were shortlisted as finalists.
Camogie is also drawing in more and more supporters, as evidenced by last year's attendance on finals day, and this momentum is something we must continue to build upon into 2020 and the next decade.
Nothing compares to an All-Ireland Sunday in Croke Park, the thrill, the excitement, being part of something special with friends and family creates memories which last a lifetime.
So why not head to Croke Park this afternoon, experience that electric atmosphere and support the best camogie players in the country as they strive for glory.
For those further afield, the finals are also available live on RTÉ and the RTÉ Player.
As sponsors of the All-Ireland camogie championships, all of us at Liberty Insurance want to take this opportunity to remind all supporters travelling to Croke Park to take due care and diligence.
Enjoy the games.
- Seán Brett is Head of Strategic Marketing, Liberty Insurance
Sunday Indo Sport