Dublin Camogie player Niamh Gannon voices frustration over skorts decision

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Niamh Gannon, a Dublin camogie athlete, shares her feelings of dismay and irritation regarding the recent ruling at the Camogie Association’s Congress, which bans the wearing of shorts. At The Westgrove Hotel’s recent gathering, two motions were introduced to modify the regulation requiring athletes to don skorts, yet neither received enough approval through the balloting procedure.

Tipperary proposed eliminating the terms “skirt/skort/divided skirt” entirely and replace it with “shorts,” but the motion was turned down by 64% of delegates. Similarly, a proposal from Great Britain to add shorts as a permissible alternative to skorts was rejected by 55% of voters.

Hugely disappointed that we obviously have to speak about this, it’s hard to believe that people who aren’t playing or aren’t going on the pitches are making these decisions

Niamh Gannon

Gannon shared her thoughts on the issue, stating, “Personally, I would much prefer to wear shorts; I don’t mind the skorts, but I think everyone should have a choice.”

“From our own team, as many other players have said, if you showed up to training, not one girl would be in a skort. So, we only wear them because we have to wear them. We would much prefer to wear the shorts,” she asserted

She also expressed concern about losing future Camogie players because of the decision.

“But also the bigger issue, I think, is that I’ve heard people say that for younger girls playing, that play football and camogie, they’re deciding to play football because they can wear shorts. So we could actually be losing younger girls just over the fact that they don’t have the choice to wear shorts,” she explained.

Her disappointment was heightened by the fact that players cannot vote on this matter for another three years.

“So I think that’s why this debate has to be spoken about because we can’t let that continue especially with the fact that this decision is there for another three years. It’s very frustrating when that motion wasn’t passed. I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t allow people to have a choice.”

Gannon spoke about the issue during an event promoting Dublin’s sponsor, Staycity Aparthotels, which agreed to sponsor Dublin in all four Gaelic games codes for the next five years.

Players frustrated with the decision

Prior to the Congress, Dublin players held a poll among themselves regarding their preferred choice of attire and how their county board delegation should vote.

“There was a vote; shorts or skorts or a choice, what do you think? Everyone apart from one player voted for shorts, the other player voted that there should be a choice,” Gannon revealed.

“Our delegate would have been taking that on board, so I’m not sure what happened with the other counties or where the vote didn’t get passed,” she added. “Definitely, from our point of view, it was very clear that a choice should at least be given.”

The current ruling prohibiting camogie players from wearing shorts will remain in place until the scheduled vote in 2027. This is causing frustration among players who believe they should have the freedom to choose their attire and raising concerns about the decision-making procedures within the sport.

Non-compliance with the regulations concerning attire in camogie may result in the issuance of a yellow card as an initial warning. Should the player continue to violate the dress code, a red card may be issued as a further disciplinary action. Being issued a red card in camogie leads to the player’s expulsion from the game.

The controversy surrounding skirts emphasizes the significance of continuous dialogues concerning athletes’ preferences and comfort levels regarding their sports attire. This issue extends beyond camogie, holding particular relevance within the historically masculine environment of Gaelic games.

Despite the disappointing outcome of the congress vote that denied camogie players the option to wear shorts, Dublin’s Niamh Gannon remains a determined voice for change, championing the cause for greater player autonomy in their sporting attire.

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