The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)is the sporting organization in Ireland that represents all Gaelic Games playedin Ireland and abroad with more than 500,000 members internationally. With therise of Gaelic games popularity, this report will highlight how it’s essentialto give players that represent their county at the elitist level within the GAAa basic wage. Given the demands put on players thesedays, to be involved at the inter-county level it has become a professionalsport. The money being the only thing keeping it under the label of an amateursport.
There must be a change and the players need more support, or it willquickly get out of hand and the GAA will lose even more players to othersports. Players representing their county can be training up to 10 months ofthe year. While there is a winter rule in place where it states no county,teams can train over winter months this is repeatedly broken as counties haveto maintain an elevated level when competing with other counties. These playerscould be working in cities and have travel home up to three times a week notonly putting a serious strain on their work lives but a serious stress on theirwelfare.
It can be seen why that many county players consist of a lot ofstudents or teachers these days. Many players holding full-time jobs have hadto opt out of playing due to it not being realistically feasible. People may argue that the amateurethos central to its survival as it would lose its sense of community spiritthat is so unique to the GAA, but people must see it is a Professional sport.Elite players are putting their bodies on the line as they do not just turn upto play. They have multiple trainings in a week, numerous gym sessions andtheir diet must be impeccable to maintain their bodies and prevent burnoutwhich is an occurring issue in GAA. If you look at sports like Rugby orCricket, you can see everything about the GAA shouts out professional sport asthere doing the same or even more than some other professional sports. The GAA is operating to a broken modeland the players deserve more than this. The GAA has assets of more than 2.
6Billion while the players representing their counties currently get a pitifulgrant of less than €1,000 a year for their efforts. Compare this to thepresident of the GAA gets around a hundred thousand euros per annum. Withoutthe players, there be no GAA, so it must be considered that they introducebasic wage to these players. This has is a major issue for the GAAbecause young talent has chosen the discipline in which they will earn a salaryrather for the love of the sport. It’s an easy choice for these young stars.Would you rather get paid for playing rugby and soccer or train multiple timesa week risking your welfare? It must change sooner rather than later.