In this week’s Kildare Nationalist Sport we feature an interview with Kildare Camogie Chairperson, Padraig Tierney, who speaks positively about the game of camogie, on and off the pitch in Lilywhite country.
By Pat Costello
ARDCLOUGH clubman, Padraig Tierney, started his camogie volunteering when Liz Graham, “who is Ardclough camogie”, asked him to give a dig out and over 20 years later he is still giving a dig out and is in his second year as Chairperson of Kildare Camogie.
The Bray, Co Wicklow native moved to Ardclough in 1998 and although he can’t remember his first administration role with the club, he ended up in the Camogie Chairman’s role in the club.
“I sat on the Transfer Hearings and Disciplinary Committee for the county for a good number of years and two years ago, when Kildare Camogie struggled to pick Chairperson, I put my name forward and easily won contest, I was the only runner,” he laughs.
“We’ve turned it all around and every position in the county is full at this time right down to sub committees. Our biggest concern now is not the administration side but rather what pitch time will we get for the players. The overriding factor is health and wellbeing of everybody and there is a serious missing of sport by most people involved in it. The challenge for 2021 is to get as many players as possible out as quick as we can and as safely as we can,” the Chairperson explains.
Looking back Padraig Tierney has regrets that they didn’t get to finish their competitions in 2020. “The GAA is an international brand but it all comes back to the one small little thing, the club. We got to the semi-final in senior and junior and the final of the intermediate championships at adult level before lockdown, but for the underage we didn’t get enough games out,” he adds. “It is no-one’s fault. If you remember as society started to reopen Kildare, Laois and Offaly were shut down and then we had further lockdown in the county so that put us into a really tight time schedule. Realistically if we look at it there could be girls in Kildare that haven’t played camogie in two years and that’s really tough.”
“For the first time in a number of years we have consistency at managerial level with the appointment of GT Troy. GT didn’t even have a Management team with him last year and now Decal “Chubby” Curran and a couple of others are working with him and we have a structure in place. Everyone knows “Chubby” and Damien McGrath has taken on the minors and all three are in constant contact,” the Ardclough man enthuses.
“When we started out last year, we had nine turning up to County training but we finished up with 40 odd players so we can have Intermediate and Junior teams this year if competitions allow.”
The Camogie Chairperson sees a need for something like an academy for Kildare Camogie so that there is a natural progression from U16’s to minor, junior and intermediate for players who want to move forward.
“To do that we have to get funding and the players have to be looked after now like any athlete. It is really important that the players are given whatever resources we can obviously afford and what they need like nutrition and S&C,” he says. “Most importantly though there has to be a work-life-play balance.”
Looking forward to 2021 Tierney sees as a priority to get all age groups out this year and to ensure that those that haven’t played in over a year get to play and that Kildare can have competitions for all age groups.
“When you look at our clubs and the way they have competed over the years we have the ability within the county and we just need to coordinate that and to make it interesting for the girls and to make it worthwhile for them. No matter what sport you are doing as intercounty level a serious commitment is required and girls who participate need to be rewarded, obviously not in monetary terms but in terms of status and respect and appreciation. Another part of that would be we’d love to see bigger crowds at camogie games,” he adds.
“Another big regret from last year was for our minor team. Last February/March, if I was a gambling man, I’d have put money on them to lift a trophy at the end of the year. They were absolutely dynamite and they didn’t get to play at all, which was outside our control.”
The Chairperson agrees that Camogie in the county may not have helped themselves in terms of publishing their activities in the past but he says that is being address in 2021 with a good young team who are enthusiastic about it and onwhich incoming President, Hilda Breslin, has favourably commented upon.
Concluding Padraig Tierney believe that once lockdown is lifted then clubs should go back first. “We need to get the younger players back on pitch, if we’re successful with all these young people going back to school and case numbers stay low. Maybe we could even start with our Go Games kids. Wouldn’t it be great to see kids running around the pitch again in any sport?”
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Executive Committee 2021
|Chairperson||Pádraig Tierney – Ardclough|
||Kate Treacy – St. Laurences|
|Donagh McInerney – Celbridge
Linda Kelly – Johnstownbridge
|Karen Kenna – Cappagh
Ann Kennedy – Kilcullen
|Children’s Officer||Sinead Tarrant – Leixlip|
County Fixtures Secretary
|Sandra Reilly – Celbridge
Caoilfhionn Hallissy – Clane
Laoise Dunne – Naas
Breda Wall – Athy
Colleen O’Driscoll – Kill
Margaret Sexton – Nureny & Liz O’Donohue -St. Laurences