Story of under-12 boys team snubbing Rena Buckley at medal presentation shows how bad it is 2 years ago

Story of under-12 boys team snubbing Rena Buckley at medal presentation shows how bad it is

Who did this lad think he was?

Rena Buckley is one of the greatest, most inspirational and highest achieving GAA players this country has ever been lucky enough to have.

You think of ladies football or camogie and she's always the first name that springs to mind. You realise this woman has won 18 All-Ireland medals and you understand just how much of a legend she is.

The Cork woman was at the launch of the 20 x 20 initiative on Monday morning - one that aims to increase the participation levels in women's sport by 20% come 2020, when she told a story that really beggars belief.

She was invited down to a medal presentation by a Cork club who had won the girls under-14 championship and the boys under-12 competition in the year 2017.


Buckley presented the medals to the girls team without fuss, only to be told by the lad who invited her that she wasn't wanted to present the lads with their medals.

"I went along and when I got down there on the night, the lad who invited me took me aside and said ‘Look we’re really sorry but the GAA team actually don’t want you to present the boys with the medals’."

"They got some local guy to do it. He was absolutely mortified. He could hardly look at me, he was really embarrassed," she said.

"That's just the mindset of whoever was organising that, we're looking for a shift in that. It's a rare thing but that was 2017, it wasn't 1986."

With a mindset like that, how the hell are young lads supposed to grow up with respect for the women's sport and how are young women supposed to grow up with aims and aspirations of making it?

The aim of the 20 x 20 event is to increase the levels of respect that are held for women's sport, and to instigate a shift in the mentality from this kind of thing.