REVIEW of 1976
REPORT OF THE COUNTY SECRETARY TO THE CONVENTION.
I have pleasure in presenting my report for the year 1976-77. In reviewing the year I must say that progress reported during 1975 continues. I need not relate the difficulties connected with promoting what is virtually a new field game for women. While Gaelic Football is an old game, prejudicial opinion prevented its acceptance as a suitable game for women. Happily, a new awareness and understanding of the numerous games splendidly modified for participation by women has, slowly, if not yet completely, eroded former misunderstanding about the suitability of Gaelic Football for women.
UNDER-16 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
St. Barry’s (Rooskey) were the winners of this competition. Unfortunately, not all affiliated clubs were able to field U-16 teams. Some improvement is desirable. Clubs should make a greater effort to get more under age players.
COUNTY SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
St. Barry’s completed a great double when they captured the Senior Championship. Five teams competed. Tulsk was the only affiliated club not to participate. A very pleasing feature of the Senior championship was the performance of Strokestown and Kilmore. I would urge the incoming County Board to make every effort to get more clubs involved and to start the U-16 and Senior Championship no later than mid-May.
INTER-SCHOOLS’ SEVEN A SIDE
We decided to initiate a Inter School’ seven a competition and I am happy to say it proved an excellent idea. Considerable interest was engendered and even though the weather was severe, teams turned out and their displays were really marvellous. Six schools took part; Roscommon Convent of Mercy and Roscommon Vocational School; Strokestown Convent of Mercy, Newtownforbes Secondary School, Castlerea Vocational School and Castlerea Convent of Mercy. All the schools can feel very proud of the standard of play and special thanks goes to teachers and officials of the schools who helped organize the games.
Congratulations to Strokestown on winning the Senior competition and to Roscommon Convent of Mercy on winning the Junior event. This competition should get every co-operation from the County Board as the playing of the game at school level is all important.
The Ladies Gaelic Football Association Congress was held at the Royal Hotel, Roscommon on the 31-1-’76 at which Miss Marie Holland was elected Secretary of Central Council. This year Congress will be held in Cavan.
On the 3-3-’76 Connacht and Leinster drew at Garbally College. Subsequently Connacht were beaten at Ballycommon, Co. Offaly in the replay. We had playing for Connacht Olive Dufficy, Kathleen Gannon and Mary Dervin. Among the substitutes we had Anne Dolan and Teresa Casey. Anne Burke also played in the drawn game. And Liz O’Brien played in the replay. All these girls served their province very well. Personally, I feel that the Railway Cup competition should be replaced by an inter club competition.
On the 15th May, ’76 we held a Coaching Course at the Convent of Mercy gym, Roscommon. The Course was conducted by Mr. Tony Regan. The attendance at the Course was high. Most of the Course had to be conducted indoors because of weather conditions outdoors were atrocious. Every one felt Tony Regan done a splendid job and his hand-outs should serve as a guide to club training. Obviously, one of the most important things each club should attempt is to teach the skills of the game. A lot of time should be given, particularly to the young girls and beginners, in impressing on players the need to develop the skills of the game.
I feel that Mr. Regan would be only too happy to give another Coaching Course this year and consideration should be given to this by the incoming County Board.
Again this was held at the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown. Much of the organization was done by the Strokestown and St. Barry’s Clubs and the success of the Buffet was in no small way due to their efforts.
I will only deal briefly with this most important matter. The Treasurer will no doubt have much more to say on the subject. However, just a few reminders. We all know how vital finance is in running a club or County Board. It becomes increasingly clear that some new method of finance will have to be considered to enable the County Bd. to meet its obligations to Clubs, players and in the vital matter of transport. Until now…and for some time longer I fear….clubs and individuals have been meeting expenses that should be met by the County Board. The Board thanks these Clubs and people for their tremendous co-operation during the year. I would suggest that the County Bd. run a “300 Club” county wide. For such clubs subscriptions are usually a pound per month. If we were to leave out subscription at 50 pence per month it might not be too difficult! Our friends the Camogie County Board would be prepared to join us in the venture they go 50/50 with us. This would ease the task of collection for individual clubs. My recommendation is that such a “fund-raising” idea should got under way as quickly as possible and the setting up of a Finance Committee to control it.
What of the future?…. well the present position of the game in the County is good. Existing clubs are asked to continue the good work and to give maximum support to their County Board. This year the County at Senior and U-16 level should make a determined bid to capture a Provincial Crown. We have the players; no county has more dedicated players and with little luck the winning of a Connacht title is not by any means beyond us. We need to get the right blend and team work. I would ask every player to try and get fit; learn the skills with special emphasis on accurate kicking; improved catching; the hand pass and solo-run. Players are asked to turn out for training and to give it the necessary time and concentration. Each club should appoint a Trainer…..the aforementioned are some thoughts to ponder! Success demands effort….let us give it that effort!
IN CONCLUSION I would like to thank our Chairwoman and Treasurer, all the officials of the County Bd. and clubs, the G.A.A., the Press, the Referees, the Schools, the Commitees of the Hyde Park and St. Comans Park, the many people who helped with transport and who helped in any other way and my special thanks to the players for their co-operation during the year.