Peat: Ladies sport in need of financial investment

The Ladies Gaelic Football Association may need to merge with the GAA in order to survive, according to Lindsay Peat.

Speaking to The College View, Peat, a standout player in both ladies football and basketball, said that due to financial reasons, the move is looking increasingly likely: “I think we will need to amalgamate with the men’s association, and it does break my heart, obviously we want to keep our identity and with money and the way sport runs, we may need to do that.”

Peat, a second year PE and Biology student in DCU, was part of the DCU ladies football team that won three O’Connor cups between 2009 and 2011, and was a member of the All-Ireland winning Dublin team in 2010. To add to her already impressive CV, she’s an integral member of the DCU Mercy basketball team and has represented Ireland at international level.

Peat feels that ladies teams get little attention compared to their male counterparts, and in terms of the GAA specifically, she feels that more support is needed from headquarters to push ladies football: “From an outsider looking in, I feel the women are treated very well, but in comparison to what the men get, there’s a little drop in it [the treatment]. I think overall, we’d probably have to go to the GAA to get the media coverage we need and to get the funding we need.

“People don’t think anything’s popular unless it’s in the media and we need that. We need the backing of the GAA to try and push our game on. We’ve huge support here in DCU. It’s better than other colleges.”

DCU Mercy lost the National Cup final last year to UL, and finished third in the national league, but are already well on the road to achieving redemption. They have won their opening six games this season and consequently, the Dublin woman is confident silverware can be picked up.

“It’s gone really well, because we’ve a different dynamic to last year. We’ve a very skilful team. We were very disappointed coming away with no trophies last season considering the two very successful years we had previously. So far, we’re on the money trail so we’re happy enough with it.”

In terms of international basketball, the senior ladies team has been cut due to financial reasons. With the world student games approaching, it’s looking increasingly likely that there will be no Irish representation there.

“We came to a pinnacle of the most successful term that any senior women’s team has had and we were just pulled. We have the world student games coming up in 2013 and as far as I know, we’re going to have no team, so it’s my job when teaching practice is over to really get on Basketball Ireland’s case. With other sports having county teams or international teams, we can’t compete with that. We will lose people to that.

“We had the CEO of Setanta Sports willing to offer us €50,000 and he will part sponsor and part donate. We also said we’d fundraise as a team. We tried to propose teams and clubs donating hall time to us free-of-charge, but they weren’t having any of it. It’s just been very disappointing,” she said.

When it comes to GAA, the talented sportswoman does not feature in the league for DCU, but returns after Christmas each year to play in the Championship: “Again, we have a hugely dynamic team, very skillful and we probably have two players in every position. We were very disappointed with last year but we’re on the hunt again and hopefully we’ll have glory times again after Christmas.”

When asked about her hopes for the season, Lindsay had a long list, having already ticked one box with the DCU Ladies Football team winning their third league title in-a-row on Thursday after defeating UL.

“I’m looking for the league with the basketball and the Varsity Championship. We’re league winners with the football, and hopefully O’Connor Cup champions and anything after that is a bonus.”

Jessica Farry
IMAGE CREDIT: Sportsfile

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