Potential for women’s sport still ‘untapped’

Camogie chief Joan O’Flynn says informal work is continuing behind the scenes among women’s sporting bodies to address challenges common to all codes.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s All- Ireland Camogie finals at Croke Park, O’Flynn said challenges specific to women’s sport, from physiological issues to commercial opportunities, may be addressed in a specific action plan in the near future.

“There’s been a sea change in attitudes to women’s sport,” said O’Flynn, “but that still has to be planned. There’s a long way to go yet.

“We’re doing that in camogie, but there are bigger challenges for governing bodies in all women’s sports to try to have perhaps a shared view of how women’s sport can become stronger. There’s obviously a competition between us for hearts and minds but we could also work across codes to improve the position of women’s sports, to address some of the societal issues involved which are bigger than any of the sports individually.”

O’Flynn confirmed various women’s sporting bodies are in discussions to deal with some of those issues.

“There is some work going on in relation to that, and there are some international models for it - say in Canada, and the UK. Those informal networks are going on and I’d be hopeful in the next 18 months or so, those would consolidate into an actual action plan across governing bodies.

“The potential for women’s sport is seriously untapped as yet, and there’s room for cooperation around that.”

With that potential comes challenges, some of those specific to women, as O’Flynn points out. “Other areas which might be open to cooperation include promotion, commercial partnerships, aspects of the physiological approach which are particular to women - there are plenty of areas around which there are opportunities to do more.”

* Full interview in tomorrow’s Examiner Sport.


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