The WGPA Launch took place today at the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Women's GPA has been 'a long time coming' says Anna Geary

The Cork star says the new organisation will help players on and off the field.

ALL-IRELAND WINNING camogie captain Anna Geary has welcomed the establishment of the Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA), saying the development has been “a long time coming”.

Speaking ahead of today’s launch, Geary said:

It’s a long time coming, it’s a really big occasion. A lot of hard work has gone into it.

“People will say, it’s something that should have been there years ago but thankfully it’s finally making strides.”

The Cork star said the priority of the new oragnisation will be to support senior players across Ireland both on the field and off it.

“It’s going to be much like the GPA that is currently in place, she said.

“Really it’s about providing support and putting structures in place for senior players across the country so that it betters the experience for them and it betters the experience for the supporters of the game.”

Among the issues Geary says the WGPA will address includes a standardisation of training across the country and the implementation of a scholarship programme.

“It’s about getting the basic experience right first for a player because if you do that then obviously the longevity of a career for every player is going to increase. The standards that are provided for them are as it should be.

“Really it’s about providing the same experience for a camogie player or ladies footballer as you would for a hurler or footballer. That’s what we want to replicate because it should be an equal status.”

While the WGPA have held discussions with ladies football and camogie chiefs, Geary says there is no formal agreement – similar to the one between the GAA and GPA – in place just yet.

“Because it’s the beginning of something, we have to wait and see how it goes. But they’ve been in talks from the word go and been brought in and there’s been discussions in place, much like the GAA and the GPA.”

And Geary is thankful for the support the GPA has given the fledgling organisation.

“They’ve been very supportive. Not everything is going to be the same, what we as ladies footballers and camogie players need might be on a different scale to what was needed way back when they started out.

“But we’re constantly in talks and there’s great guidance and support coming from them.”

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