Female GAA players overwhelmed and stressed, says WGPA survey

Many female GAA players have felt ‘stressed’ due to their playing commitments, according to the findings of a survey by the new Women’s GPA (WGPA)

Female GAA players overwhelmed and stressed, says WGPA survey

586 players from ladies football and camogie took part in the research carried out last year. 51% of those surveyed played ladies football, 41% played camogie and 8% were dual players.

And the findings will leave plenty of food for thought for officials.

Almost 80% of respondents felt ‘overwhelmed’ and 60% have felt ‘stressed’ as an inter-county player.

33% also revealed they often have access to hot showers after training; 62% didn’t receive payment for injury expenses while only 7% received travel expenses.

63% indicated they had been ‘out of pocket’ on some occasion due to county commitments, particularly due to injury, while 88% of camogie players buy their own hurleys.

To cover many of the costs associated with inter-county teams, 82% of players reported taking part in their own fundraising for gear, food and travel expenses while approximately 16% of players have previously received some form of sponsorship or financial reward due to their playing status. The average age of respondents was 23, and the average length of county career to-date was six-and-a-half years.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, chair of the WPGA, Aoife Lane, said the association was set up on foot of these findings, with 99.6% agreeing to the formation of a players representation group. She said: “Our existence really is because the players mandated it. They indicated what their needs were, and we’ll begin to respond to that through the provision of various services in 2015 and beyond.” According to the association’s mission statement, it will work for: 1. A better playing and personal environment and experience for county players on and off the field; 2. Increased recognition, coverage and acknowledgement for county players; 3. Representation at decision making level with potential partner organisations. The WGPA will be launched on January 20 at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin.

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