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Camogie saga 'not fair on players' and joy at seeing €2.4 million injection for GAA funding parity

Four-time All-Ireland winner Katrina Parrock says the ongoing issues regarding the 2021 schedule are not fair on players.

FOUR-TIME ALL-Ireland winner Katrina Parrock says the Camogie Association “needs to get on top” of the ongoing saga regarding the 2021 fixture plan.

katrina-parrock Katrina Parrock in action for Wexford in 2016. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Members are currently being polled about what format should be adopted for the season after a consultation document was circulated last week.

Two options have been presented in the document, one of which proposes a controversial format which would see the season open up with the National Leagues. The club championship would then follow with the inter-county All-Ireland championships taking place later in the year.

The second option follows the inter-county-club schedule which the GAA and LGFA are implementing for this season.

The polling process was announced following a turbulent period for the Association after initially proposing plans to follow an inter-county-club-inter-county schedule for the season. 

A survey by the GPA also revealed that 84% of players who responded said they would not participate in the upcoming National Leagues should those plans be retained.

Parrock, who recently returned to the Wexford panel after previously stepping away in 2017, says the ongoing saga is not fair on players.

“I’m trying to stay away from it and focus on my own game,” she told The42 in a wide-ranging interview which covers different facets of her sporting career including her recent inter-county comeback. 

The second part of that interview will be published later this week.

“But I have seen things and the girls have been talking about the different options that are available.

“At the end of the day, I know it’s coming down to a vote but the Camogie Association need to get on top of this.

“County players are putting in the time effort and commitment for both club and county. And it’s just not acceptable for county players to be facing… they can’t plan anything, especially if some of them are working. How are they meant to arrange time off and that kind of stuff.

“To not know, a week going into the start of the league and there’s no resolution there. The LGFA have theirs sorted, the hurling is all sorted but yet, the camogie always seems to be that little step behind. It’s just really not on for the players and I suppose there’s nothing really we can do about it but give our word and try to put our foot down a little bit.

“We’ll see what the outcome will be tomorrow.”

The three-time All-Star added that players want to be focusing on their sport as the start of the league campaign looms. Wexford are due to get their Division 2 campaign underway against Kilkenny on Saturday.

“I’m trying to keep my focus and I’m sure a lot of players are [too] but obviously this in the background isn’t helping players look forward and get ready for the weekend ahead,” she says.

“I just think they need to think about the players a bit more and look, the LGFA and GAA and everything is in order. The Camogie [Association] always seems to want to be that little bit different. I don’t know what it is but it’s just not fair and it’s frustrating for the players.”

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jack-chambers-td Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

On a more positive note, the Minister for Sport announced today that female GAA players across the LGFA and camogie are set to earn parity of State funding with their male counterparts.

Male players have previously received €1,200 from the State with female players getting just €400. Today’s announcement means there will be an annual increase of €2.4 million to the State’s funding of GAA players, which is presently €3 million. 

“It’s a huge bonus,” Parrock said when asked for her thoughts on the State funding being trebled.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw it today, I was smiling away to myself. There’s been a lot of work put in from the GPA and their work has really paid off. Girls have obviously gotten behind it as well to give it a huge boost and it’s great to see that.

“Women are going to get nearly €3million for inter-county players in the LGFA and Camogie Association. It’s great to see such a huge boost and the quality of the women and men is going to be on a level base which is a huge bonus to women in sport.”

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