The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) are calling on the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) and the Camogie Association (CA) to agree an official Squad Charter for female inter-county players from the 2024 season. This is the key ask of the GPA’s “State of Play Equality Report” which was launched today and can be found HERE.
The is the first time that a request has been made for the GAA to work with the other two National Governing Bodies (NGBs) in support of female inter-county players in this way. The call comes as the three organisations continue to work towards full integration, a process that was ignited by a GPA motion at GAA Congress in 2022.
A centralised agreement on a Squad Charter already exists between the GPA and the GAA for male inter-county players. The charter agrees minimum standards when it comes to sports science support (including access to physios, strength and conditioning expertise and medical professionals), provision of training and playing gear and travel and nutritional expenses. There is no such centralised agreement for the female codes.
The GPA delivered a presentation to the Steering Group on Integration (SGI) in Gaelic games on March 21st which included the call for the provision of a female Squad Charter. That is the group chaired by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese.
Speaking at the launch of the “State of Play Equality Report”, GPA CEO Tom Parsons said; “While we respect that the integration process will take some time to achieve, we believe that there are important steps that can be taken towards levelling the playing field for female players as things progress. We should not have to wait until complete integration has been delivered.
“A Squad Charter for female inter-county players delivered in cooperation between the GAA, LGFA and CA would be one such step and would be a significant statement from the three NGBs in support of equality.”
GPA National Executive Co-Chair Maria Kinsella stated; “Today we launch our ‘State of Play Report’ which yet again clearly identifies the level of inequality and difference in minimum standards experienced by female inter-county players. While some progress has been made in recent years, this level of inequality will never be eliminated until the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association work together as ‘One Association’ and share their resources.
“Current female inter-county players should not have to wait until integration is fully completed to receive the playing environment they deserve.”
Her Co-Chair, Matthew O’Hanlon added; “We know that a major gap exists between conditions for male and female players. The GPA took a number of steps to close this gap following the merger with the WGPA. The government took a major step by equalising public funding for male and female players. We’re now looking for the three NGBs to take this step.
“We want negotiations to start as soon as possible so that a consistent, workable charter is in place for our female members to be implemented from the 2024 season onwards. That will be almost two years since the GAA Congress motion on integration was passed as a priority.”