Positive impacts reported on player welfare, standards of the game and collaboration
Details of the second year of the Government Funding Scheme for Camogie and Ladies Gaelic Football intercounty teams have been announced with an increase in funding to all successful applicants. This has coincided with an initial evaluation report on the scheme which has reported significant positive impacts for players, managers and county board officials.
Over €500,000 in funding will be provided to county panels in 2018 to support intercounty Camogie and Ladies Football players in their preparation throughout the year. This represents an increase to €9,000 available to each of the 53 adult intercounty squads and €4,500 to the 2 teams only involved in one competition, a rise from the €8,000 available in 2017, when an overall figure of €428,000 was awarded.
County board officials, team managers and player representatives across 23 Camogie and 32 Ladies Gaelic Football intercounty panels agreed on their individual spending applications in January and the first tranche of payments for 2018 has now been released.
This followed the commitment in June 2016, by the then Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD, of a two-year agreement, to provide support for intercounty Camogie and Ladies Football players. This process will provide funding of €1,000,000 between 2017 and 2018, through Sport Ireland, to support programmes included in a joint proposal by the Camogie Association, the LGFA and the WGPA.
Interim Evaluation Findings
The scheme evaluation carried out by an external, independent company S3 Solutions, analysed the first year of the funding and returned widely positive findings on it’s impact. The financial support has so far been used towards programmes such as injury prevention and medical cover; maximising player and team performance, and access to training facilities. Services covered include Physiotherapy, Strength and Conditioning, Nutritional Advice, Sports Psychology, Performance Analysis, Player Recovery, Medical Cover, Specialised Coaching and Gym/Training Facilities.
The remit of the scheme and its’ unique, collaborative nature has contributed to a positive change in standards, welfare, co-operation and athlete identity.
Some of the key findings include:
- 84% of players and 90% of managers report the grant scheme as contributing to an increase in the general standard of the Inter County game.
- 66% of players and 92% of managers report increased standards of injury prevention.
- 63% of players report that the standard of welfare support has increased.
- 67% of managers & administrators report improved relations between players and administrators.
- Physio (33%) and Strength & Conditioning (17%) were the most common uses of the grant aid.
- 70% of players have reported an increase in the extent to which they view themselves as an elite athlete.
- 61% of administrators and managers reported increased skills within the county board.
Sinead McNulty, Independent Chair of the Scheme Implementation Group, reinforced the initial findings. “Everything about the grant scheme has been built on collaboration and taking the intercounty experience to a new level, in line with other high performance funding. Players indicated their priority is to be the best they can be at their sport; this funding supports managers and administrators in their efforts to provide the best environment possible to maximise standards in the Intercounty game. Through the evaluation, it is evident the access to additional supports and services has improved playing experiences, boosted player welfare and improved relations within each county. The first 18 months of the funding programme has been massively encouraging and provides a great platform to develop it further in the coming years.
Speaking at the Government Grant Scheme Workshop Dublin Camogie Manager David Herity said: “The Government Grant Scheme has been wonderful for us. In 2017 what it has allowed us to do in Dublin is to develop the whole game and the girls as well and bring it on to a whole new level. It’s been a huge benefit to us in 2017.”
Donna English, Cavan Ladies Footballer stated: “You’re getting something back that’s going to make you a better athlete, a better person. It’s making you perform better. We are actually getting help from the Government to get us to the next phase, to get us to the next stage. It’s great to see that recognition”