The Camogie section continues to grow from strength to strength, year on year, with over 80 players at U6, U8, U10 and U12. The appetite for camogie locally is huge, no doubt not only due to the fact that it is a great sport, but also the large catchment area, which covers Warrenpoint, Burren and Rostrevor.
For the first time the U12s played league camogie and coped very well considering many of them played the game for the first time this season. U10s are an age group at which numbers are relatively low, however, they also continue to develop well. At U8 and U6 we have very large numbers and at each blitz that they played in they competed brilliantly and we have some very promising players coming through here.
In addition to the blitzes we attended, we were also delighted to be able to host our own blitz, which was a great success. We welcomed 18 clubs, with 44 underage teams playing. And I would like to thank the entire club for their support on the day, especially our Hurling counterparts, who were vital to ensuring a great day. We will endeavour to host another blitz in 2021.
Many girls also attended the Hurling/Camogie week, which was supported by Declan Doyle, from the Hurling and Camogie coaching staff. Unfortunately, the female coaches struggle to coach that week, due to parental and work commitments.
This year we enjoyed another fantastic trip to Croke Park for the All Ireland Camogie Final, an annual trip that is enjoyed by the whole family and again we had a full bus on the day. Unfortunately, our own Down girls narrowly missed out on another All Ireland Final, however, we were delighted to have Fionnuala Carr come down to a training session in July, signing sticks, speaking to all the girls, and inspiring each and every one.
The season is now over, one of our coaches, Patricia Keenan, is currently training every second Friday in St Dallan’s up until Christmas.
Moving in to next season we may have some coaching challenges. It would appear we are becoming a victim of our own success, as our numbers are growing year on year, therefore the coaching staff also needs to grow. We currently have 5 coaches and several parents (who are U6 only). Therefore, much work is required to develop the coaching structure, preferably with ex players in order to strengthen the skills of these young girls, many of whom are reaching competitive levels. The camogie section would certainly welcome any inputs to ensure a long future for this wonderful sport within our club. A second strategic move moving in to the new year, coaches permitting will be to tie in more closely with St Mark’s High School to grow our older age groups in order to be able to field the 12-15 teams required at U12 and U14.