SHE Research Partnership with the Camogie Association and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association

Empowering Female Athletes: The Camogie Association and Ladies Gaelic Football Association Introduce Groundbreaking Resources

In an historic collaboration, the Camogie Association and Ladies Gaelic Football Association have joined forces with SHE Research at TUS to introduce pioneering resources aimed at supporting and empowering female athletes in Camogie and Ladies’ Gaelic Football.

These resources, developed through rigorous research and expert collaboration, address the unique needs and experiences of young female athletes participating in Gaelic games. Recognising the importance of fostering health literacy and communication around sex-specific experiences, the initiative aims to enhance the well-being and performance of female athletes.

Understanding the Landscape

Camogie and Ladies Gaelic Football stand as the most popular team sports for young females across Ireland. However, participation tends to decline as females transition from adolescence into adulthood. The Gaelic Games Youth Participation Study highlights that the enduring appeal of Gaelic Games lies in factors such as competitiveness, camaraderie with friends, and proficiency in the sport.

Meeting Unique Challenges

Female athletes in Gaelic games encounter sex-specific experiences, including menstrual cycles, hormonal contraceptive use, and breast development, which can impact their participation, enjoyment, and performance in the game. For instance, a significant proportion of intercounty players report the menstrual cycle affecting their performance.

Addressing the Need

Responding to these challenges, the collaborative effort between the Camogie Association, Ladies Gaelic Football Association, and SHE Research aims to bridge the gap in health literacy and communication. The resources prioritise providing fundamental knowledge about female physiology, focusing on health and participation, and offer guidance for athletes, parents/guardians, and coaches.

A Call to Action

The launch of these resources signals a commitment to supporting the holistic well-being of female athletes in Camogie and Ladies’ Gaelic Football. They encourage open dialogue, education, and support networks within clubs and communities, fostering an environment where every athlete can thrive.

Quotes from the Associations

Cherianne Taim, PhD researcher at SHE Research noted: “We at SHE Research are delighted to collaborate with the Camogie Association and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association on this project, which has given us an invaluable dissemination opportunity.  It is really important to us that our research has a real world impact, in this case on females who play Gaelic games, as well as their coaches, parents/guardians and clubs.  I would like to acknowledge my collaborator on this work Dr Kelly McNulty as well as the wider SHE Research team, including Dr Niamh Ní Chéilleachair and Dr Ciarán Ó Catháin.”

Uachtarán an Cumann Camogíochta, Brian Molloy commented: “I am delighted to see the introduction of these valuable resources for our female players. I want to express my gratitude to  SHE Research for their valuable contribution to the development of these resources and to our partners at the LGFA for their collaborative efforts in bringing this initiative to fruition.

The well-being and health of our players are top priorities for our Association, and these resources are designed to enhance their playing experience and help them reach their full potential. I am excited to see how these resources will support generations of Camogie players in the future.”

Mícheál Naughton, Uachtarán Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, commented: “This initiative is another fine example of the tremendous collaborative work between the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and our counterparts in the Camogie Association. The continued health and wellbeing of our players is of paramount importance to us and this work with SHE Research at TUS is another huge step forward. I welcome the rollout of these key resources, which will greatly enhance the lives and playing experiences of our players. I salute those who have helped to bring this to fruition and we look forward to working alongside our players on their respective journeys.”

Continuing the Journey

This initiative represents just the beginning of a concerted effort to empower female athletes and enhance their experiences within Camogie and Ladies’ Gaelic Football. Additional educational supports will be available through SHE Research, the Camogie Association, and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, ensuring ongoing progress and support for generations of female athletes to come.  In turn, SHE Research are launching an online module in the Female Athlete that will run from September 2024.

Photo shows (l-r), Dr Ciaran O Cathain (TUS), Louise Keane (Camogie Association), Aoife Lane (TUS), Eilish Ward (LGFA), Brian Molloy (President, Camogie Association)


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