Littlewoods Ireland launches 2021 Camogie Leagues finals and All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
Today Littlewoods Ireland, a top-tier sponsor of both Camogie and Hurling for the 5th year running, launched the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League finals and All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship in line with their 2021 Style Meets Substance campaign. Partnering with Littlewoods Ireland for the launch are the stars and finalists of this year’s Division 1 Camogie league; Miriam Walsh of Kilkenny and Sarah Healy of Galway. Also in attendance was Miriam’s cousin Kilkenny senior hurler Padraig Walsh and Sarah’s clubmate senior hurler Shane Cooney.
Earlier this year new research conducted by Littlewoods Ireland* revealed 1 in 2 sports fans in Ireland have watched a Hurling match in the last 12 months and only 1 in 5 watched a Camogie match over the same period. Even more shockingly, the research revealed that the majority of the population (89%) cannot name a current Camogie player. Littlewoods Ireland is determined to change that through their commitment to support Camogie and Hurling, showcasing both for the spectacles that they are and inspiring people to get behind the sports and players. This Sunday the Division 1 Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Final, between Kilkenny and Galway, will be televised live on RTE One. The Division 2, 3 and 4 finals, which sees Antrim take on Down, Armagh tackle Wexford and the meeting of Cavan and Roscommon, will be streamed live on LWI_GAA Twitter. These will be 11th,12th and 13th games streamed by the Camogie Association and Littlewoods Ireland over the course of the Camogie Leagues campaign which have allowed the players showcase their immense skills to a wider audience and permitted supporters to get behind their teams.
This season, Littlewoods Ireland was determined more than ever to raise the exposure of Camogie. Having this year showcased the heroes of Camogie on Irish television with their very first Camogie TV ad which features Kilkenny’s Katie Power, Cork’s Amy O’Connor, Galway’s Heather Cooney and Waterford’s Niamh Rockett. It can be viewed here.
Speaking at the launch were Kilkenny Camogie and Hurling star cousins and Littlewoods Ireland ambassadors Miriam & Padraig Walsh. After a turbulent couple of weeks prior to the start of the leagues Miriam highlighted the positivity, the games have received. “Following the quite shocking research that 89% of people couldn’t name a Camogie player, it’s been great to see an increase in those wanting to watch the games this season. The streams have removed barriers and enabled people to get involved in the game we love.”
Padraig added, “Obviously having come from a Hurling mad family we’ve always supported each other every step of the way in our playing careers whether that was Grace and Miriam coming along to our Hurling games or me, Tommy, Martin and Shane going along to the Camogie games for Tulloroan and Kilkenny. It’s been brilliant that these games have been made more accessible and hopefully the rest of the county can get behind the girls this weekend.”
Littlewoods Ireland ambassadors and Galway Camogie and Hurling stars from St. Thomas’ Sarah Healy and Shane Cooney were also in attendance at the launch with Sarah noting; “The support we’ve received from Littlewoods Ireland over the last five years and in particular this season with the streaming has been a breath of fresh air. Having made my debut in 2017 I’ve seen the game benefit from the support of sponsors like Littlewoods Ireland. I hope the streams have brought the games to a new audience and I hope we get people tuning in this Sunday to end the leagues on a high.”
Shane Cooney, also a brother of Littlewoods Ambassador Heather Cooney added. “I’ve seen the work the Camogie players put in behind the scenes through my own sister Heather and club mate Sarah and it’s brilliant to see Camogie getting coverage as a just reward for those efforts. Hopefully, the girls can get the win this Sunday and the county will be on a high heading into the Hurling championship in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Littlewoods Ireland Managing Director Rossa Butler stated: “We are proud to be title sponsor of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues and top tier sponsor of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship for a fifth year running. Over those years we have worked to help give both codes the support they need. Our objective has been and will continue to be showcasing Camogie and Hurling for the spectacles that they are and inspire people to get behind both sports and the players. We have been delighted to see large numbers of people tuning into our streams of league games over the last number of weeks. Our hope is that removing the barriers and making games accessible will provide the exposure to the game that these players deserve. I very much look forward to the final Camogie Leagues games this weekend and eagerly await the return of the championship on the 26th of June.”
President of the Camogie Association Hilda Breslin said: “We are very excited for the opportunity to have our supporters back in the stands for our final fixture in the Division 1 competition. I would like to congratulate both teams on reaching this year’s final. The finalists showed great skill, character and determination to get through their respective groups and knockout rounds to remain the last two teams standing. I am looking forward to another exciting spectacle of Camogie when the sliotar is thrown in on Sunday. Throughout the four league divisions we have been privileged to watch many matches from the comfort of our own homes, and I wish to thank our sponsor, Littlewoods Ireland for their dedication to promotion and showcasing live matches on the social media platforms available free to supporters near and far. This is the fifth year of Littlewoods Ireland’s sponsorship of the Leagues and their relationship with our players and our communities continues to grow from strength to strength. I would like to wish all our players, counties and match officials the very best of luck in Sunday’s final and I hope the occasion is enjoyed by everyone in attendance with us on this unique night in Camogie.”
President of the GAA, Larry McCarthy said at the launch of this year’s hurling championship: “The GAA Hurling Championship is almost upon us after what has been a difficult period for the country. We look forward to working with Littlewoods Ireland to promote the games and the excitement that they bring over the summer months. This is our fifth year working with Littlewoods Ireland and they bring a unique style to the promotion of our partnership. I wish them well ahead of what should be a memorable championship.”
The Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League final is live on RTE this Sunday the 20th June at 7.30pm in front of 3000 spectators, while the Division 2, 3 and 4 finals will be streamed live on LWI_GAA Twitter. The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship begins Saturday 26th of June. The hashtag for Littlewoods Ireland’s sponsorship of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues is #StyleOfPlay. Style of Play is about celebrating both the Hurling and Camogie family, people of real character and substance.
Join the conversation and tell us what Style Meets Substance means to you using the hashtag #StyleOfPlay on Twitter (@LWI_GAA), Instagram (@LWI_GAA) and Facebook (@LWIGAA).