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Dublin: 1°C Friday 7 May 2021

WGPA seeking clarity over camogie schedule as LGFA propose split-season

The Camogie Association confirmed a split-season structure will not take place in 2021.

A view of the Offaly camogie team training.
A view of the Offaly camogie team training.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated Sat 6:33 PM

THE WPGA ARE seeking clarification from the Camogie Association after reports emerged yesterday that club championship would take place before inter-county this season. 

The Camogie Association have since confirmed that the inter-county leagues will begin first, before the players return to their clubs for county championships. Then the inter-county All-Irelands will take place.

After initial reports of the schedule emerged, the GPA, which merged with the WGPA in 2020, released a brief statement on Twitter.

“The GPA are seeking clarity from the Camogie Association following decisions reportedly taken on the structure of the season ahead,” it read. “While awaiting that clarity we will continue to engage with and update our members.”

The Camogie Association confirmed their fixture calendar plans in a statement on Saturday evening. 

Explaining their decision to play club championships after the inter-county leagues, they cited the following reasons:

• Restrictions in place in both jurisdictions
• Maximizing meaningful games opportunity to all camogie players
• Given the fact that most club activity had ceased in August / September 2020, to consider running the inter county championship directly after the Littlewoods National Leagues would mean that club players would miss out on almost a full year of camogie.
• It is important to provide playing opportunities to as many players as possible at all levels.
• The Camogie Association facilitates 2nd County teams in inter county competitions
• Age eligibility for underage players on adult teams
• The Camogie Association primarily rely on colleagues in GAA for provision of training and playing facilities. There are limited numbers of facilities, particularly floodlit and all weather facilities in the winter months which would be available to camogie club competition while also facilitating competitions in other Gaelic games codes.
• Maintain high profile of camogie activity across the remaining months of the year
• Scheduling of State exams

Speaking on Friday evening, Camogie Association president Hilda Breslin said: ”What we hope is the last surge in the Covid pandemic has restricted our options and left us with a very difficult choice.

“It is not possible to satisfy all of the genuinely held perspectives and interests at once. We have gone with the option that gets most players back on the field as quickly as possible.

“Our clubs are the foundation of our Association. It’s important that there are competitive club matches for as many players as possible this summer. In this way our clubs will be to the fore in revitalising the physical and mental health of young people in communities across Ireland.

“We are also committed to achieving a programme of inter county activity, starting with
the Littlewoods National Leagues in May and concluding with the All Ireland Inter County Championship.

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“With cooperation at all levels of the game there will be an opportunity for players at all levels and abilities, together with coaches and hopefully in time spectators, to enjoy our unique sport and compete for silverware.”

Meanwhile, the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies football championships will take place after the Lidl National Leagues.

The42 understands that split season is expected to be announced on Tuesday by the LGFA, which will see the provincial championships not part of the All-Ireland series.

They will instead run later in the year if the provisional councils see an opportunity to do so. 

Counties can commence their club championships after they’re knocked out of the All-Ireland series. 

The LGFA management committee have also made a decision to pay players from travelling teams during the National League 30 cent a mile for travel expenses.

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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