The WGPA marked its’ fifth anniversary with the biggest AGM and Player Reps Workshop to date last Saturday in the Johnstown Estate in County Meath.
94 player delegates attended representing 50 squads across Ladies Football and Camogie. The AGM saw continuity in officer positions with Maria Kinsella retained as Chair, Carol O’Leary continuing as Secretary and Kate Kelly fulfilling the role of
Eight-time All-Star Cork goalkeeper Aoife Murray has joined the executive, along with Galway Football’s Sinead Burke, Clare Camogie player Chloe Morey, and current Down Football captain Kate McKay, two players who are both graduates of the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme.
Key highlights of the year included a rise in Intercounty Government Grant funding from €500,000 to €700,000, delivering team grants of €9,000 to 55 squads, as well as a new National Player Health Check programme for all members, administered in conjunction with LGFA & Camogie.
Additionally, engagement with Player Development Programmes more than doubled from 2018; 46 Third Level Scholarships were awarded, 44 players worked with a Personal Development Coach, 21 players accessed face-to-face Counselling and 10 players completed the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme. A number of other supports and services were delivered, including education opportunities and team programmes.
The annual Player Reps Workshop followed the AGM and brought the attendees through a number of interactive sessions and feedback exercises around the theme of the day ‘Setting The Standard.’
Kevin McManamon worked with the delegates on developing Leadership skills and recognising their personal attributes.
Aoife Lane facilitated a session with the players to feedback on recent survey findings and establish player views around standards in our games.
The day concluded with a Player Panel Q&A – Aine O’Gorman (former Irish soccer international), Peter Canavan (former Tyrone GAA player) and Louise Galvin (current Irish rugby 7’s international) held a discussion on their shared experiences of raising standards and the journey through their personal careers.
“The large attendance is a good reflection of the wider growth of the organisation and a fitting tribute to the work done over the last five years,” said Chair Maria Kinsella.
“I want to thank all of the Player Reps for giving their time to attend and all of our members for your commitment, entertainment and engagement in 2019. The players’ voice can be an influential driver of progress in our games and our original aim of ‘Making Things Better’ hasn’t changed; we will use our collective effort to further raise standards in the years ahead. We continue to work to represent your voice and help you achieve your potential, both on and off the field.”
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Image credit: UEFA