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Olympic Aspirations for Ladies Gaelic

Olympic Aspirations for Ladies Gaelic


The Ladies Football Congress took place in Tipperary at
the weekend with the worldwide expansion of the game one
of the main topics for discussion. Due to the growing popularity
of the game overseas, it was proposed that Ladies Gaelic
Football be put forward for recognition as an Olympic sport
by 2032. Ladies Gaelic is hugely popular in Australasia,
North America and Europe and as it is a game with a universal
skill base, it could become a global sport over the next
15-20 years. Also at Congress, the issue of player burnout
was discussed following a presentation on the subject by
former Ladies Footballer Lynette Hughes and it was agreed
that the rule disallowing U-16 players to play senior county
football is to be maintained.

Geraldine Giles, President of Cuman Peil Gael na mBán said:
“The Congress was a success and the most striking thing
for me was the turnout from the overseas delegates who turned
out in force and are now making a huge contribution to the
Association. We estimate there are over 10,000 Ladies footballers
playing overseas and the game is thriving in places like
Australia and Canada.”

The Suzuki Ladies National Football League kicks back into
action after a rest week and as the hunt for play-off places
heats up so too does the battle to stave off relegation.
Sarah O’Connor’s Kerry recorded their third consecutive
league victory with a win over Tyrone and the Kingdom are
now in poll position in Division 1A. However, Kerry must
beat Mayo and Armagh to secure top spot and avoid the likes
of Cork and Galway in the playoffs. Waterford are the only
side in Division 1A without a win and having already lost
to fellow strugglers Tyrone, they face a huge task to maintain
their division 1 status for next year. The eagerly anticipated
clash of Cork and Galway in Division 1B takes place this
weekend. Both sides boast an unbeaten start to their respective
league campaigns and a win for either side will no doubt
assure top seeding in their group. At the other end of Division
1B, Kildare and Donegal face a relegation dogfight. Neither
side has recorded a win but Kildare have shown more promise
with two with narrow defeats at the hands of Galway and
Monaghan. The clash between these two sides may determine
which county is relegated.

Sligo and Tipperary are leading the way in Division 2 topping
their respective groups. Sligo, the 2006 All Ireland Junior
Champions, have been in impressive form and have flagged
promotion to Division 1 as a must for 2007. Last year’s
Junior All Ireland runners-up, Leitrim find themselves in
a precarious position after failing to win either of their
opening two games. Leitrim must get back to winning ways
this weekend in Division 2A against fellow strugglers Limerick
if they are to avoid getting dragged into a relegation battle.
Tipperary have the comfort of knowing that they have already
beaten Wexford, their closest challenger in Division 2B,
and should confirm top billing this weekend at home to Longford.
At the other end of the table any one from three could be
facing relegation as Longford, Roscommon and Down have yet
to record a victory.

In Division 3, Cavan, Westmeath and Fermanagh have all made
flawless starts to the league but no team has as yet broken
from the pack and looked like a definite promotion prospect.

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