Monday 20 November 2017

Women GAA players get €1m funding fillip

The funding will provide €500,000 a year for the next two seasons (2017-'18) (Stock picture)
The funding will provide €500,000 a year for the next two seasons (2017-'18) (Stock picture)
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Female inter-county GAA players got a massive boost yesterday when the camogie and ladies football associations received a new €1million grant, which has been ring-fenced to provide better standards of training and medical support for them.

The chairperson of the Women's Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) Aoife Lane said the effect will be "way beyond the monetary value of it. "It's not about the money," Lane said. "This is about the players being acknowledged and recognised for what they're doing. This is a big statement."

"This the first time the government and Sport Ireland have recognised our players as elite athletes," she said. "Showing that value and recognition is a big thing, and that is what it always comes back to with players, not money."

Even the most successful women's GAA players don't receive expenses for training, and they complain about the lack of investment, compared to their male counterparts. It was rumoured the WGPA was seeking individual grants but Lane stressed that was never on its agenda.

The WGPA worked collaboratively with the camogie and ladies football (LGFA) associations to jointly lobby the government. The funding will provide €500,000 a year for the next two seasons (2017-'18) and is separate from the €300,000 government grants that camogie and the LGFA both receive annually for development.

Minister for Sport, Patrick O'Donovan, said: "The funding shows the confidence held by the Government in the success of inter-county ladies football and camogie players." A steering group of officials has been set up to work out how the funding will be distributed.

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