Ballyboden St Enda’s Champions the Cause for Improved Housing for Female Dual Players

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In a courageous move aimed at promoting the well-being of female athletes, Ballyboden St Enda’s GAA Club in Dublin has taken a proactive approach. The club has officially proposed a groundbreaking idea to the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) and the Camogie Association, which has the potential to revolutionize women’s sports in Ireland. The proposal suggests implementing a one-club model to better accommodate female dual players.

Tackling Fixture Congestion

The primary aim of this initiative is to address a persistent problem faced by Irish female athletes: fixture congestion. Dual players, who excel in both Gaelic football and camogie, often find themselves dealing with a grueling schedule, particularly during the championship season. Ballyboden St Enda’s argues that the current system places excessive pressure on these players, leading to fatigue, burnout, and a possible decline in performance.

A Call for Transformation

Ballyboden’s plea for change is supported by the personal experiences of one of their own. Rachel Ruddy, a former Dublin defender and dual player for Ballyboden, has spoken about the demands of juggling matches in both codes. Ruddy, who eventually chose football over camogie due to the stress of managing both, points to the successful one-club model for male dual players as a shining example of what could be achieved. In the male model, hurling and football matches are scheduled on alternating weeks, thus alleviating the burden on dual players.

Hope for the Future

Ballyboden, who had approximately eight or nine dual players last year, remains optimistic about receiving a positive response from the LGFA and Camogie Association. With the 2024 championships on the horizon, the club emphasizes the need for early communication and collaboration between the associations. Their objective is to prevent welfare issues for dual players and ensure that every athlete can perform at their best without compromising their health.