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A battle players 'shouldn't have to fight' but Waterford camogie thrilled with GoFundMe response

Waterford captain Lorraine Bray says the donations will be used to cover essential expenses for the team.

THE WATERFORD CAMOGIE team have been “blown away” by the public response to the GoFundMe Page which they have created ahead of their All-Ireland quarter-final against Limerick.

lorraine-bray-and-marian-quaid Waterford captain Lorraine Bray and Wexford skipper Marian Quaid at the launch of the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Quarter-Finals. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The Déise have already raised over €6,500 ahead of the clash at Semple Stadium tomorrow which will serve as part of a double-header. The other quarter-final between Dublin and Kilkenny will follow later in the evening.

Speaking ahead of Waterford’s fifth consecutive appearance at this stage of the championship, team captain Lorraine Bray says the team is grateful for all the donations that have been made so far. All the money raised will go towards essential expenses for the team.

“It’s been brilliant to see, and any time we’ve ever asked the people of Waterford for anything, there’s been such support there for us. You sometimes don’t take notice of the support that’s there but the generosity has blown us away.

“It was in the lead-up to the quarter-final and maybe a bit before that. It’s just to cover the basic things like meals, training and pitches. Buses and things for matches [too] because prices have gone through the roof. We just felt we needed to do something to try and get the funding in to be able to avail of all those services.

“You want the best when you’re coming up to games and you want to leave no stone unturned. We have a small sponsor in DID as well, and we also have individual sponsors which have been brilliant throughout the year.

“We can’t thank them enough for sponsoring every player. The support for the GoFundMe page has been brilliant and I see the numbers increasing every day, so we genuinely are grateful to everyone who has supported us.”

Cappoquin’s Bray adds that such fundraising ideas are a necessity for camogie teams, particularly in light of the recent spike in the cost of living in Ireland. And while it’s unfortunate that players are required to help out, Bray says her teammates will do whatever is needed to help their county succeed.

“Unless you have a big sponsor, you are kind of falling behind other teams and we are always looking to get a big sponsor and more funding but it is a struggle at times. It’s a battle that players shouldn’t have to be fighting. We’d rather be focusing on camogie and getting ourselves right but we help out wherever we can and try to get the best for ourselves and the girls that are coming up in years to come.”

Waterford’s opponents Limerick have progressed to the quarter-final after a mixed season so far. They suffered relegation after a winless league campaign, and their opening two Group 2 games of the All-Ireland series ended in heavy defeats to Galway and Kilkenny.

They’ve picked up some crucial wins in the interim over Offaly, Down and Antrim to secure their passage to the knockout stages.

Waterford are no strangers to the quarter-finals, having reached this point in the last four All-Ireland championships. However, they have suffered defeat on each of those occasions and will be eager to make the long-awaited breakthrough.

The Waterford camogie community is in mourning this week following the death of Shauna McGrath from the Abbesyide club. Shauna died after returning home from a night shift at University Hospital Waterford where she worked as a midwife.

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Bray says her memory will be in the minds of all the Waterford players when they take to the field in Thurles. 

“I suppose, this week, there were a lot of heavy hearts around Waterford camogie after a girl that was involved in club and with Waterford camogie before – Shauna McGrath – passed away. She’s definitely going to be a girl that every single one of us will be thinking of on Saturday. I think that will be the thing that will drive us on.

“We really came together as a group this year, there’s a brilliant bond there, and we’re just hoping that when we pull it all together on Saturday, that we’ll be coming out the other side and that we’ll be giving a heartfelt performance on Saturday.

“We wouldn’t underestimate Limerick whatsoever. We know exactly the kind of team they are and we know it’s going to be a pure dogfight on Saturday. We expect nothing less.”

You can make a donation to the Waterford Camogie Go Fund Me page here

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