A brief history
The Camogie Association was known as Cumann Camógaíochta na nGael until 2010, with the first Camogie All Ireland Championship taking place in 1932 – a whole 28 years after the Association was founded. The inaugural event was contested between ten counties and was organised on an open draw basis. Sean O’Duffy from Mayo donated a silver cup (known as the O’Duffy cup) for the winners of the championship. Players lined-out wearing gym-frocks that covered the knee, long black stockings, canvas boots, long-sleeved blouses and a belt or sash around the waist. The shape of the hurley lent itself to good ground strokes and the play was predominantly on the ground. A glance at the early scores shows that players concentrated on scoring goals. The majority of points registered came from placed balls. The game and playing attire has changed significantly in the intervening decades, and this year marked the 110th anniversary of the Camogie Association. There have been significant milestones along the way, including the movement from 12-a-side to 15-a-side and the development of the game nationwide with an increased emphasis on development at grass-roots level, making camogie one of the most popular team sports for females in Ireland.
The National Development Plan 2010-2015
Following the conclusion of the Camogie Association Strategic Plan in 2008, an extensive review was undertaken to assess the Association’s needs and to make recommendations on how the Camogie Association can operate in a more effective, efficient and modern manner.
The Camogie Association National Development Plan 2010 – 2015 presented the Association with an opportunity to inspire members with a common vision. The plan has helped Camogie to maximise its potential and to brand the Association as a confident, modern, community based organisation that offers women the opportunity to develop as players on the pitch and leaders off the pitch.
The Camogie Association identified potential areas for growth and development during 2010 – 2015. A major priority was to work towards providing all players with the opportunity to join a local Camogie club and pursue an interest in the game.
1. The affinity between Camogie and Hurling is strong and Camogie thrives in existing hurling sections within GAA Clubs. A targeted programme will be developed to establish Camogie alongside existing Gaelic Games codes, in particular hurling where no camogie currently exists. Maintaining and strengthening existing units is also essential. Camogie must also be accessible to players of all abilities and backgrounds and at recreational level for those players who do not wish to participate at a competitive level.
2. With the recent changes in population patterns and the growth of population in urban centres there are now a number of urban centres that are not serviced by Camogie clubs. There are also some population groups who are not yet afforded the opportunity to play Camogie. We will be proactive in reaching out to communities in new or growing urban and suburban areas. We will work with all Gaelic Games codes to promote Camogie to new communities and other groups from a non-Gaelic Games background.
3. A further priority will be the development of initiatives to retain teenage players in Camogie and to support their transition from underage to adult Camogie.
4. While it is important to grow new clubs it is also important to sustain existing clubs and to provide them with the training and support necessary to provide Camogie for the young women in their local communities. To be in a position to grow new clubs and sustain existing ones the Camogie Association will aim to provide the following:
- An attractive sporting opportunity
- Well organised activity at all levels
- Competition appropriate to players’ abilities
- Guidance on how to start up and develop clubs
- Training for all volunteers, coaches, referees, administrators
- Resources for new clubs, county boards
- General advice and support on running a club
- Support for county and provincial officers
- Leadership programme to identify leaders within our Association
5. Giving recognition to the sporting achievements of Camogie players is really important. Public recognition impacts on the visibility and status of women’s sport. It also impacts on the extent to which Camogie players are role models for young people. It impacts on the recognition of females as sporting equals to men. All of this in turn impacts on efforts to increase women’s participation in sport. Over the next period, we will endeavour to maximise the profile of our sport, our players and clubs through proactive communications and marketing.
These priorities are reflected in the National Development Plan’s five objectives:
- Growing Participation
- Improving Performance
- Volunteer Development and Leadership
- Enhancing Camogie’s Profile
- Excellent Governance and Organisational Development
The Camogie Association commits to regularly monitoring and review of the implementation of the Plan’s priorities and the achievement of its targets.
For further information go to Camogie Association National Development Plan ‘Our Game – Our Passion