Denis Hynes and his son Teddy meeting Irish captain Katie McCabe after the Ireland v Northern Ireland soccer match.
Local clubs must be supported to develop ladies sports, says one local coach.
Denis Hynes, Union Organiser for the Republic of Ireland ladies soccer team and a youth sports coach in Kilkenny, has called for more investment from government to back the commitment of local volunteers.
“Last Friday night I travelled up to Tallaght to watch the Republic of Ireland women’s International soccer team take on Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualification match and it was great to see Kilkenny native Karen Duggan playing for her country.
“After the game, I met with the players, as their Union Organiser along with Stephen McGuinness of FIFA PRO and was delighted to report we have concluded improvements in pay and conditions for both North and Southern teams on the island of Ireland. Both teams put in a huge effort into the game and this needs to be reflected in the conditions they receive”. Mr Hynes stated.
“National research shows that only 25% of women in Ireland participate in sport compared to 43% of their male counterparts. As a youth sports coach, I see these figures ringing true at a local level. We need more national media coverage of ladies sports, similar to the level of coverage they get in the local press.
“Things have improved in the last 20 years for women, as prior to this they were virtually invisible in the national media.
“At least now in the major sports, a large number of people can name the high profile female athletes. This is vital for young ladies locally and encourages them to take up and stay active locally in sports activities.
“Locally is it vital that plans are put in place to support the development of ladies sports. There needs to be a positive emphasis on funding to attract young ladies into sports. The huge growth of Ladies Football in Kilkenny is a clear sign in what can be achieved. Sports like camogie, ladies football and ladies soccer are vital and need investment through the local schools and clubs. The government need to direct funds towards local clubs to support the development of ladies participation,” commented Mr Hynes.
“During Brendan Howlin’s visit to the constituency this week I have discussed this with him and asked him to raise the matter of funding for women’s sports.
“Too often we see great volunteers across Kilkenny bag packing and selling tickets to raise money for our local athletes to help them reach their goals. Locally attracting and retaining young ladies into sports is vital, while local volunteers give of their time for free, the government needs to be doing more to support these efforts with Kilkenny,” Mr Hynes concluded.