O'Donovan Rossa ladies footballers are staying positive despite GAA shutdown 

O'Donovan Rossa ladies footballers are staying positive despite GAA shutdown 
The O'Donovan Rossa junior ladies football team supporting the initiative.

O’DONOVAN Rossa Ladies Football Club recently signed the 20x20 Charter for Club which commits to supporting women and girls in sport.

The charter aims to support females to be more active with their clubs in the community.

The 20x20 flag will be displayed in the Rossa Park clubhouse along with the club charter.

O’Donovan Rossa ladies club PRO Grace O’Mahony is proud to be involved with such a progressive initiative.

“I thought this would be a great way to start the season. Supporting women and girls in sport has come a long way already, but more needs to be done. The ladies club here in Skibb is flourishing, so I knew the support would be there,” revealed the club officer.

The charter which is being promoted throughout the island of Ireland has a series of aims it hopes to achieve throughout this year revealed Grace.

“The whole initiative is about supporting women and girls to be more active and more involved with the clubs in their community. Three overall targets have been set to be implemented by the end of 2020.

“We aim to get 20% more media coverage of women in sport, 20% more female participation whether at player, coach, referee or administration level and 20% more attendance at women’s games and events.

“We have decided to do this by focusing on three pillars. We will profile both female and male players on social media.

“We aim to have live tweets and match score updates at our ladies and girls matches. We also aim to have underage girls teams participating at half-time in our adult club fixtures.”

To help promote this exciting initiative Grace is herself taking a step back from playing activities with her beloved Rossas as she sets in motion her plans to promote the 20x20 Charter.

“I hope to attend most of our matches, both adult and underage, to live-score them. It will be good to allow people to follow scores if they can’t make a match.

“I always aim to publicise the fixtures beforehand and follow up with the final score afterwards.

“Colm Crowley, PRO of the adult club and I are going to post profiles of our players to allow the community to get to know them better.

“Last year during the West Cork senior ladies championship match against St Val’s, our U6 girls played at half-time against each other.

“They love to see the older girls play and they look up to them as role-models. I am hoping to organise more games like this for them.”

O'Donovan Rossa ladies football chairman Trevor Hegarty and club PRO Grace O'Mahony pictured at the launch night of the 20x20 Charter for Club.
O'Donovan Rossa ladies football chairman Trevor Hegarty and club PRO Grace O'Mahony pictured at the launch night of the 20x20 Charter for Club.

Ladies football throughout the country and especially in the Rebel county is thriving at present.

Grace is positive this new initiative will help raise the profile of the game substantially.

“The 20x20 team have done a great job getting clubs involved. The response has been incredible.

“It’s great to see all types of clubs getting involved from all the various disciplines such as rugby, basketball and camóige.

“People want more recognition of ladies sport. I would encourage all clubs in Cork to make the pledge.

“The success of ladies sport in Ireland is not just restricted to the GAA. For example, Katie Taylor or the Irish hockey team who reached the World Cup final.

“This is really encouraging for younger girls to give sport a go.”

Grace is still convinced that ladies football will continue to grow.

She hopes more games can be broadcast live and more supporters will go along to their nearest club or county games.

“I’d love to see the ladies’ matches being televised or even broadcast on the radio.

“Some of them are live-streamed on Facebook, but this channel doesn’t suit the vast majority.

“You see men’s club games shown on television and it makes you wonder why ladies inter-county matches aren’t shown.

“We have to start somewhere. I would also love to see more support at our games.

“The dedication in our club has always been high. It is important to give the girls the recognition they deserve.”

The O’Donovan Rossa ladies club celebrated their tenth anniversary in February.

The club have enjoyed huge success since they were established revealed Grace.

“Our numbers are growing year on year and so is our silverware. It is astonishing to see how far we have come.

“Our junior ladies now field two teams in separate divisions. Our minor girls have topped the A grade three years in a row and the underage teams are strong contenders in their A grades again this season when the season resumes. The potential is definitely there to make our club more successful. That is what we plan to do.”

Grace’s younger sister Laura is enjoying a very successful season this year with the Cork senior footballers.

“Laura played in a wing-back position during the league campaign and it seems to be suiting her which is great.

“She lives for football. With the Leaving Cert last year, she struggled with managing her time, but she’s now based in Cork through college.

“She’s able to make all the training sessions and this extra work pays off. It’s just the two of us, so we are very close. Despite looking so similar, we have very different personalities.

“The younger girls in the club definitely look up to her. It is great that they can chat to her as just another Skibb girl too.”

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