New Camogie Association chief executive Sinéad McNulty has revealed the organisation is targeting a significant increase in attendances at the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland finals on September 8.
Speaking at yesterday’s press event to publicise the quarter-finals double-header involving Limerick and Tipperary, and Galway and Waterford, at Semple Stadium on August 3, McNulty pinpointed a figure of 25,000 as an achievable goal.
Last year’s finals attracted 21,453 people — the third- highest standalone finals event hosted by the Camogie Association.
The 2009 senior final between Cork and Kilkenny remains the high point in terms of attendance, with 25,924 at Croke Park that afternoon.
The 2007 final, where Wexford ended a long famine in defeating Cork, had an attendance of 33,154 but that fixture was part of a double-header with the U21 hurling decider.
“We are issuing a callout now,” said McNulty. “We want to create a record for camogie. We want to have 25,000 people here in Croke Park on the eighth of September.
“The theme of our Go Together campaign is about bringing people with you.
“The players wouldn’t be there without everybody else in their communities, be it club or county or family and friends.
“25,000 would be our second biggest attendance of all time if we can achieve it. It would be a 20% increase on what we had here last year, and 20 is a big number in the media at the minute, particularly in women’s sport."
Waterford captain Niamh Rockett added her weight to the campaign, admitting that the prospect of playing in front of such a crowd on All-Ireland final day is an attractive one, albeit that they must overcome Galway and one of either Cork or Kilkenny to get there.
Rockett revealed that much is already being done in Waterford to increase attendances in support of the county team and believes that a similar approach nationwide, to witness the cream of the crop in action, would bring about the desired results.
“My own club St Anne’s organised a bus to go up to the quarter-final,” said Rockett.
“The county board are phenomenal. The first round against Tipperary they had a 52-seater bus of U14s go up to it. The U14s were at a blitz in Wexford on Sunday and they had them back in Walsh Park for the match with Cork. It’s brilliant and Waterford Camogie have really pushed it. They’re going about it the right way and it’s brilliant to see.”