ONE of the biggest weekends in the Ladies Football calendar fell victim to Covid-19, and doesn’t look likely to be replayed, says Cork senior footballer Eimear Scally.
The Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Cup weekend was due to take place at the Kerry GAA Centre of Excellence, but the plug was pulled on the eve of the event when the GAA, the Ladies Football Association and the Camogie Association released a joint statement banning all activity.
A total of 540 footballers in 18 teams were set to travel to the Kingdom, and the last-minute cancellation came as a big blow.
“It was very frustrating,” says Scally. “Especially when you consider we started back training the end of September and we were training so hard for the last six months and literally the day before you are supposed to travel to the game, it is called off.
“That was very frustrating and annoying but when you are looking at it in the grand scheme of things with the world the way it is at the moment, it was the right decision to make and a difficult one for the ladies Higher Education Committee to make.
"Sport is a big part of my life and people’s lives but you have to at the bigger picture, sport is always going to be there but we have to look after ourselves and our loved ones first.”
A short calendar is now left to play the games before the end of the college year, but with talks that Third-Level institutes may not return at all, and Scally would be surprised if it did go ahead.
“There isn’t really any word on it being played. We are still in touch with our strength and conditioning coach with UL to keep fit in case it does get the go-ahead but I would be very surprised if it does, considering our own college is probably closed until June.”
Scally, is in her final year in UL, studying a degree in Health and Fitness and understands the ramifications of the current climate and urges teams and individuals to uphold the ban imposed by/the GAA and Ladies Football Association.
“A lot of inter-county teams will be doing their own individual training. I think teams have been relatively good in sticking to the ban, no one seems to be going behind closed doors and organising group training sessions which is very important.
"We need to look after ourselves and our loved ones. We are in a global pandemic and need to put sport into perspective in the grand scheme of things.”
“In saying that, keeping active for your physical and mental health is extremely important at a time like this, I urge people to keep it up as it will benefit them massively.”