Some of the key concerns emerging from the survey surround access to physios and strength and conditioning coaches — 68.3% of players surveyed stated they “seldom, hardly ever, or never” had access to a physio, while that figure rose to 78.6% for strength and conditioning coaches.
Some 34.6% felt they “often or always had three or more symptoms of burnout”, which included “feelings of intense fatigue”, “felt vulnerable to infection”; and “felt detached from family and friends”.
Of those playing with three teams in 2017, 62.4% said they often or always experienced three or more symptoms of burnout. For players playing with more than three teams, that increased to 71.4%.
More encouragingly, 68.2% of players surveyed said they were comfortable approaching fellow teammates for mental health support.
The report, Joan O’Flynn’s last as ard stiúrthóir, stresses the Camogie Association’s commitment to improving the standard of coaching at all levels, and to cultivating a better environment for players on and off the pitch.
In 2017, 897 camogie coaches were accredited and 10 new coach education tutors were accredited in conjunction with Sport Ireland Coaching.
In the report, O’Flynn highlights the rising participation rates in camogie, improved media exposure, and growing attendances.
In 2017, the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior quarter-finals were televised live for the first time by RTÉ, while there was a 14% increase in peak TV viewing during the senior final, from 328,000 to 374,000.
At grassroots level, 18 new clubs were formed in 2017, bringing the total number in Ireland to 567.
O’Flynn welcomes the draft memorandum of understanding drawn up by the Camogie and Gaelic Athletic Associations last month to formally recognise the links between them.
“The joint memorandum is a statement on the future of Gaelic games and a statement about the future of young people in Gaelic games” she writes.
“Implementing the memorandum through building a united entity for our mutual benefit, in a way acceptable to both, is an idea whose time has come and is a sensible next step to strengthen the experience, profile, and wellbeing of our game, and Gaelic games overall.”