Camogie in the corner?
KATIE CREANE LIFTS THE LID ON WHERE WOMEN STAND
ARE camogie players considered to be second class citizens in the sporting world?
In 2010, the Wexford senior camogie team defeated Galway, securing them their second All-Ireland title in three years. The intermediate team also reached their final, narrowly missing out on a victory against Clare.
So, why is it then that camogie players receive less publicity than their male counterparts, who have not performed so well over the past few years?
Liam Spratt, sports commentator with South East Radio, he believes that 'camogie and ladies sport in general are a bit guilty themselves for not promoting themselves, but they have improved'.
In response to this, Louise Codd, a member of the Wexford senior camogie team, said: 'I'm split on this. In a way, camogie is responsible for its own place in society, but support isn't there from the local people.' This was apparent at both the hurling and camogie All-Ireland finals this year, where a mere 17,290 supporters were present at the camogie match, in comparison to approximately 82,000 people who turned up to see Tipperary defeat Kilkenny.
Spratt said: 'It's back to the initial problem (of lack of publicity) – a lot of supporters haven't seen camogie, and when they do see it, realise what a great game it is and that they should support it.' However, the level of skill and commitment towards camogie is on a par with that of hurling, and they train just as hard, albeit that the GAA own all the county pitches.
Another contributing factor is that there is a lack of communication between the Camogie Association and the GAA. In 2007, while the camogie team were playing in Croke Park, men's fixtures were organised in County Wexford on the same day.
Despite the Camogie Association declining the offer to be a part of the GAA in 2004, this still does not allow for the fact that the only camogie game broadcast throughout the season on the television, and reported on in most national newspapers, is the senior final.
According to Codd: 'We're put in a box by the media. We're not given the publicity so we're automatically second class citizens.'
The camogie teams still have a long way to go in relation to self promotion, but the lack of communication between both organisations means camogie is considered a lesser body.
But with the new president of camogie Joan O'Flynn on their side, and the recent successes of both the intermediate and senior teams, the future appears bright for camogie, and hopefully this will lead to them being regarded as on the same level as hurling players.