“Great to see local investors seeing us as marketable”

Cáit Devane, Grace O’Brien, Julieanne Bourke and Aoife McGrath have all welcomed the announcement of a new sponsorship deal for Tipperary camogie, which should improve the county’s chances of further closing the gap to the big three at senior level .

Tipperary County Council has announced a unique dual association which will combine sporting growth from development teams through to senior citizens, along with financial support to facilitate this process and provide the services needed to thrive in a high quality environment. performance.

Although no figures have been released regarding the money provided under the three-year sponsorship by Alpha Drives, it has been suggested to be in a similar ballpark on average with the groundbreaking deal announced recently by Galway, which is worth €250,000. over five years.

A partnership has also been established with Setanta College, which will include the design and implementation of long-term development programs for players from U14 upwards, as well as access to the college’s state-of-the-art facilities in Thurles.

This will focus on strength and conditioning, sports science, sports psychology and exercise nutrition, with Setanta coaches leading the delivery of these programs, led by former head of sports medicine Des Ryan and Athletic Development at Arsenal and now Director of Training and Performance. in Setanta.

Fergal Allen, John Dwan (Alpha Drives Ltd), Aoife McGrath, Grace O’Brien, Cait Devane, Julieanne Bourke, Des Ryan (Setanta College)

Tipperary reached the semi-finals of the All-Ireland Championship and the Littlewoods Division 1 League last year, and only fell at the penultimate hurdle of the two narrowly.

The move will ensure camogie players across the county receive an equal level of support and athletic development facilities as their male counterparts, following the announcement of a similar partnership between Tipperary GAA and Setanta in December.

Another similarity to Galway sponsorship is that the company involved may be based outside the county but is run by a native keen to provide support. In this case, John Dwan is a Tipp man who is MD of Portlaoise-based Alpha Drives Ltd.

“To see people wanting to come out and support you is a huge thing,” McGrath says. “Camogie has grown in popularity over the past few years so it’s fantastic to have two sponsors like Alpha and Setanta on board. Everything costs money and then a big thing over the past few years has been strength and conditioning , so having Setanta on board all the way from U14 to senior is going to be good for the game going forward.

“It’s a bit of a compliment to show that we are progressing, that we are contenders and that they want to be involved with us and that the sponsorship is visible on our jerseys,” notes co-captain O’Brien. “I hope this will help us progress in the future. And that it’s the same program that Tipp GAA receives says a lot too.

“For the future of Tipp camogie, not just the present, it’s so important to have that connection with Setanta and then for Alpha to be willing to put money into Tipp camogie,” says Bourke, who shares the captain duties with O’Brien.

“It will make a huge difference to start the girls younger, to learn about strength, conditioning and nutrition. We are only borrowing the jersey at the moment and also looking into the future of Tipp camogie, for keep riding it and it will be a real help.

“Over the past few years, women’s sports have really taken off and it’s great to see local investors seeing us as marketable and supporting us,” says All-Star forward Devane.

“Hopefully we can hold our end of the bargain on the pitch. Everything feeds there. There’s a better buzz around a setup where the environment is good and all your needs are taken care of and the essential is that it comes with the investment it’s great that we have it this year and we’re involving all the right people with us, with Setanta and Alpha Drive trying to find the extra percent here and there, that we are still researching, it just might make the difference.