"Don't leave thousands of people demoralised with the game we love so deeply" 2 months ago

"Don't leave thousands of people demoralised with the game we love so deeply"

Both the LGFA and the Camogie Association have decided to cancel their respective All-Ireland minor championships for 2020, on the back of the corona-virus pandemic.

Young footballers and camogie players alike are up in arms over the recent developments, with the upcoming provincial championships deemed an unsubstantial and less prestigious alternative.

Indeed, it's hard to bat for these provincial championships when you consider that they are generally more of an after-thought, taking place a couple of months after the All-Ireland has been won.

Petitions have been doing the rounds in recent days in a bid to stir the two associations into action, and to save the All-Irelands for the minor grade but they have been to no avail thus far.

"The 2020 Tesco All-Ireland Minor Championships which began in February have now been cancelled. However, in order to facilitate a programme of matches in a regional format, Minor competitions will take place on a Provincial basis in 2020 from October to December," reads a statement on the Camogie Association website.

Galway camogie star Aoife Donohue in action in the All-Ireland camogie final, 2010.

It is believed that another reason for the cancellation of the championships lies in the cross-over which exists between the minor and junior and intermediate All-Irelands, though this hasn't washed with younger players, who view the minor as a significant stepping stone in their careers.

"Minor is a vital age in the progression and development of young camogie players," said a Cork minor camogie player to SportsJOE.

"What about the age old and very important principle that an underage player’s first priority is and must be to their own underage grade and that the second priority then is to an older age group if they are selected for that but not at the expense of their own age group," she added.

"We have trained hard over the last 5 or 6 years to get our chance to proudly represent our counties at minor level. We all strive and plan to make our Senior and Intermediate inter-county teams but the reality is we all won’t make it to that level. It might be our last and only opportunity to represent our county so why are you taking it this opportunity away from us."

"Let us fulfil and experience the dreams we have had since we were little girls. Don’t take this away from us. Don’t let all our winter training, our hailstone trainings, our snowstorm trainings, nights out and experiences with friends and family that were sacrificed, just go down the drain. We want to play minor championship. Don’t leave thousands of disheartened people unhappy and demoralised with the Camogie Association and with the game we all love so deeply."

The Limerick minor camogie panel also stressed their discontentment with the developments.

"20x20 is supposed to be an all-inclusive movement to shift Ireland’s cultural perception of women’s sport. It seems the Camogie Association have turned a blind eye to this advancement. How is Ireland’s cultural perception meant to progress when one of the main organisations backing this campaign is excluding a certain group of young women..."

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, the camogie association says it wouldn't be possible to complete a full calendar of competitions.

“Given the limited timeframe in which to run competitions at all levels in the remainder of 2020, it is not possible to run this year’s All-Ireland minor championships outside of provincial level..."