Camogie chief relishing task

Newly-appointed Ard Stiúrthóír of the Camogie Association, Joan O’Flynn, is relishing the opportunity to once more play a leading role in advancing the profile of the game.

Camogie chief relishing task

The Cork woman served as president from 2009-2012 and yesterday became the Association’s third full-time Ard Stiúrthóír following in the footsteps of Sheila Wallace and Sinéad O’Connor.

“What tempted me to return to the fray is that the position of Ard Stiúrthóír is a very unique role in Irish sport,” she said.

“The one thing that inspired me, and I learned this during my term as president, is the massive work that goes on at club, county, provincial and national level. I have a chance now to continue supporting that and keep driving camogie forward.

“The game has been going from strength to strength, but there is more to do and challenges out there.”

The attendance of 15,063 at the recent All-Ireland camogie finals is indicative of the game’s relatively small support base. This will be one of the first issues tackled by O’Flynn.

“There could have been more at the final and the way to grow that is to nurture a fan base at club level up. I think it is unrealistic to expect 40,000 at the All-Ireland final when the work is not going in at club level. We need to build support for the game to increase attendances. We can improve on that 15,000 figure and with the support of Liberty Insurance we can prioritise that in the coming years.”

O’Flynn is in favour of merging forces with the LGFA, but noted that support at all levels is required.

“During my tenure as president we commenced a process called the ‘One Club’ model which was to facilitate a process whereby clubs at local level could be administered as single units. That was growing the idea of increasing integration from the grassroots up. It is a journey where people must be on board at every stage of its development so that if it does come to fruition everyone is behind it.”

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