Sport GAA

Monday 21 January 2019

Main findings from inter-county report Sportdesk

Here are the main points of the ESRI report 'Playing Inter-County Gaelic Games' experiences, realities and consequences.

GAA players can spend up to 31 hours in the week on their commitment to senior inter-county activity

On average during the 2016 championship, players allocated just over six hours on a week-day pitch-based training day to their inter-county commitments. On a sports conditioning training day, the average time spent varied between 4.4 hours (match week) and 5.4 hours (non-match week).

Players resident outside (within) their home county spent on average 3.0 (1.8) hours travelling to and from their field-based training and 2.4 (1.7) hours to and from their sports conditioning sessions.

Players managed to maintain their professional commitments in tandem with their inter-county activity, but only by sleeping less and devoting less time to personal relationships and general downtime.

Almost half of players (48pc) did not get the eight to 10 hours' sleep that is recommended for athletes on a pitch-based training day. This was 63pc among players dwelling outside of their home county.

40pc of players had no time off from Gaelic games during the course of 2016.

While the players' life satisfaction score is in line with the national average, they recorded lower levels of mental well-being, particularly when compared to individuals of similar age.

87pc of players indicated that they had to watch their behaviour in public.

83pc agreed/strongly agreed that they were glad they made the choice to play inter-county, while another 14pc somewhat agreed.

Almost 30pc (29.4pc) of players ceased playing senior inter-county at the end of the 2016 season. Regardless of age, the main reason for withdrawing from the inter-county game was that players wanted to focus on their professional career. Injury was the next main reason.

Irish Independent

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