Camogie chiefs will use hurling to grow fan base

Camogie chiefs will look at playing more and more games alongside hurling championship fixtures in the coming years to build the profile of the sport.

Camogie chiefs will use hurling to grow fan base

Officials are ‘reasonably happy’ with the 12,476 attendance for Sunday’s All-Ireland triple-header at Croke Park, though it fell well short of the predicted 15,000.

Despite those figures there appears little appetite to take the games out of GAA headquarters to a smaller venue or returning to the policy of playing alongside the U21 finals.

Instead, camogie bosses believe increasing the profile will attract new fans and grow attendances

Camogie ard stiúrthóir Joan O’Flynn said: “Playing the three finals in Croke Park elevates the status of the senior, intermediate and junior championships. Take Limerick as an example. They won the intermediate final on Sunday and their manager Joe Quaid said it was the first time in over 40 years he had seen a Limerick player collect an All-Ireland trophy in the Hogan Stand. That was facilitated only by the triple-header arrangement. Giving the opportunity to as many players as possible to realise their All-Ireland dream in Croke Park is of standout importance.

“That said, bringing camogie to the widest audience possible is also very important to the association. When there are opportunities for double- headers [with hurling] during the year we take them. The National League senior camogie and hurling decider in Thurles this year was such an example; along with the All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final with the U21 hurling semi-finals in August also in Thurles.

“That is something we want to build on. Increasing the number of camogie double-headers with provincial hurling championship games or All-Ireland hurling qualifiers are also other options we will look at, but we are at a very early stage right now.”

In terms of the crowd at Croke Park, she said: “We were reasonably happy with the attendance. 15,000 was our benchmark and we would have liked to have gone to that and beyond. But the hurling and camogie communities are one and the same, so perhaps the fact that Kilkenny and Limerick were both a week earlier in the senior and minor hurling deciders impacted on us. And of course you have various other factors at play.”

Cork’s All-Ireland senior final victory over Kilkenny attracted an average audience of 221,500 viewers to RTÉ on Sunday which equated to a share of 27% of the available audience.

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