Match fees kits and gym access how Irelands other womens national teams

first_img 24,428 Views IT HAS BEEN a landmark, and hugely significant, week for women’s sport in Ireland as the national football team stood up and spoke out against the Football Association of Ireland’s (FAI) general treatment of the squad. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOIn the early hours of Thursday morning, the players’ two-year battle for the basic, and fundamental, conditions you’d expect any of our international sporting teams, either male or female, to work under came to an end.It should not have come to this, and Tuesday’s press conference was very much the last resort, but the players had little option but to air their grievances in public and force the FAI into action.Their struggle for equality, fairness and dignity was a sad indictment of how we, as a country, and indeed our sporting bodies generally view women’s sport and women in sport.The response, and support, the public showed Emma Byrne and the players was overwhelming but was the football team’s situation unique or is it one all of our women’s national teams face?We asked a member from the Ireland’s women’s cricket, rugby, hockey, basketball and athletics teams the same set of questions, and their answers are below.It was decided that all of the players and athletes interviewed for this piece would remain anonymous. Irish women’s cricket team Source: Barry Chambers/INPHODo you get paid to represent your country? No.Do you receive a match fee or compensation for loss of earnings? Yes, depending on the length of tour. They break it down into underage, student and working — so you get some compensation depending on which category you fall into.Do you get to keep your kit? Yes, this has changed dramatically in the last few years. We have huge amounts of gear, thank God.Do the hotels you stay in have reliable WiFi? If we travel to an International Cricket Council event the hotels we stay in are usually top notch. Other tours arranged by Cricket Ireland are still good, we never miss out on this.Do you have access to a gym membership and S&C programmes? Yes, in recent years we have had access to the High Performance centre in DCU, and membership to the ordinary gym too. We have full time access to a S&C coach and physio. I have to stress, these are things that we have fought for, and have been put in place over the last few years.Do you feel you’re out of pocket by representing your country? Yes, especially when on long tours. We would get a compensation package, then it would be taxed, so we could not come out with a lot. I know it’s better than nothing, and we are better off than some but it needs to increase too.Have you, or any of your team-mates, raised concerns over playing and training conditions with management or the governing body? Yes, we have a player’s rep that we feed into and they meet with CI. Again, it comes down to money available and in fairness if CI had more, I think we’d see it.Irish women’s rugby team Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHODo you get paid to represent your country? No.Do you receive a match fee or compensation for loss of earnings? No, it’s an amateur sport. Vouched travel expenses are reimbursed. The IRFU structures the women’s programme (training etc) around weekends, to minimise disruption to players’ work, study and other commitments.Do you get to keep your kit? Yes, all squad players receive full training, travel and match kit, along with formal wear for official events and functions.Do the hotels you stay in have reliable WiFi? Yes, but this does depend on the infrastructure of the countries that we are travelling to.Do you have access to a gym membership and S&C programmes? Yes, the IRFU provides access to gym facilities onsite and regionally. Teams also have professional strength and conditioning programmes along with a nutritionist.Do you feel you’re out of pocket by representing your country? Unanswered.Have you, or any of your team-mates, raised concerns over playing and training conditions with management or the governing body? There are processes in place so that any player who has any concern can approach team management or the IRFU performance director.Irish women’s hockey team Source: Presseye/Rowland White/INPHODo you get paid to represent your country? No. We have an annual player levy of €550 which each member of the squad must pay in order to represent their country.Do you receive a match fee or compensation for loss of earnings? No.Do you get to keep your kit? Yes, we get new kit every Olympic cycle which we get to keep — this includes match and training gear. Sometimes the girls who are in full-time employment have to do a bit of work while away and the students have assignments to do, so wifi is always hugely important for us.Do the hotels you stay in have reliable WiFi? For the most part, but sometimes they’re not the most reliable connections.Do you have access to a gym membership and S&C programmes? For the Dublin-based members of the squad, we have limited access to the UCD gym, our time slot is 6am-8am Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The players from Ulster and Munster are very kindly supported by two fantastic, voluntary S&C coaches who offer them gym access and training. We’re extremely grateful for their support.Do you feel you’re out of pocket by representing your country? Yes, very much so. Between September and June the full-time workers in our squad must take 65 days unpaid leave. This alone is a huge ask and results in a 25% loss of income, without adding in the Player Levy we are asked to pay. Thankfully, our various employers are very understanding of our sporting commitments and we’re extremely grateful for their support to allow us take these days off. Unfortunately, the financial strain is making it increasingly difficult to sustain our international sporting careers. Many of the countries we compete against have fully-carded athletes, the reality is we train up to 20 hours per week (more than some professional athletes) while working full-time, in order to reach our goals of playing in the World Cup and Olympic Games.Have you, or any of your team-mates, raised concerns over playing and training conditions with management or the governing body? Concerns have been raised in the past, and continue to be raised. As we aren’t sponsored, we can’t afford to have as many contact hours to train together which is frustrating as there is so much potential in this team to qualify and compete at major tournaments but we are competing against nations with so much more funding. If we could secure a major sponsor, a lot of the concerns we have would be resolved.Irish women’s basketball team Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHODo you get paid to represent your country? No.Do you receive a match fee or compensation for loss of earnings? No.Do you get to keep your kit? We haven’t always, but yes we’ve kept all the gear we received in the past few years.Do the hotels you stay in have reliable WiFi? Yes.Do you have access to a gym membership and S&C programmes? I pay for my own gym membership so I can workout outside of team practice. This summer the Mardyke Arena has come on board giving us access to the gym, courts and a personal trainer for the international season.Do you feel you’re out of pocket by representing your country? Yes. Last summer we had to fundraise to cover the cost of our programme and whatever wasn’t covered by fundraising had to come from the players.Have you, or any of your team-mates, raised concerns over playing and training conditions with management or the governing body? No.Irish women’s athletics team Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHODo you get paid to represent your country? As a full-time athlete it’s slightly different for me as I’m on a Sport Ireland grant to fund my training.Do you receive a match fee or compensation for loss of earnings? No, as I am a full-time athlete.Do you get to keep your kit? Yes, we generally get kit once every two or three years, but I think it mainly depends on who the kit sponsor is.Do the hotels you stay in have reliable WiFi? Generally yes, but it depends on where you are in the world I suppose.Do you have access to a gym membership and S&C programmes? As a carded athlete, I have access to the facilities at the Institute of Sport.Do you feel you’re out of pocket by representing your country? At the end of my athletics career I probably will have less savings than I might have if I worked a normal job for the previous 10-15 years but it’s a decision I feel I can make and not be afraid of being on the breadline or anything like that.Have you, or any of your team-mates, raised concerns over playing and training conditions with management or the governing body? I have been happy with competition and training conditions in general over the last number of years so no. With all of the above questions I cannot speak for any non-carded international athletes, of which there are many, as I have been lucky enough to have been carded since I finished college.Inter-county GAA team Source: Donall Farmer/INPHODo you get to keep your kit? We usually get some shorts and socks at the start of the year and then receive training gear, some more shorts, two t-shirts and a jacket during the year and a tracksuit and bag for the All-Ireland.We have a set of jerseys for the year, which we don’t keep, but if you get to a national league final or the All-Ireland final the set are sponsored by Lidl/TG4 so you get to keep your jersey. We also get free gloves.Do you have access to a gym membership and strength and conditioning programmes? Yes, we are really lucky we have access to the great facilities.Do you feel you’re out of pocket by representing your county? Travel expenses are not covered and additional physio/specialist visits away from team sessions wouldn’t be either. So injuries and travel expenses and tolls mean you would spend a good bit if you were unlucky enough to be injured. A new thing this year is that we have been getting fed after pitch sessions which is great.Have you, or any of your team-mates, raised concerns over playing and training conditions with management or the county board? No, to be honest high standards are demanded from our management team, so we wouldn’t really ever have to fight our own case.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Friday 7 Apr 2017, 2:30 PM 26 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article http://the42.ie/3326713 Match fees, kits and gym access: how Ireland’s other women’s national teams are treated We asked players from the national cricket, rugby, hockey, basketball and athletics teams about their playing and training conditions. Follow us: the42.ie By Ryan Bailey Share283 Tweet Email1 Short URL Forty years on from the Grand National’s first female jockey, women in sport still have fences to jumpFAI and women’s national team reach deal after overnight talks Apr 7th 2017, 2:30 PM last_img