You know you’re doing something right when 46,286 people show up to watch the action! Last Sunday’s All-Ireland Ladies Football Final between Dublin and Mayo boasted the largest attendance of any female sporting event this year, easily surpassing the Women’s FA Cup Final and Women’s Rugby World Cup Final. That is quite staggering.
Much of the credit must go to the Ladies Gaelic Football Association for their work in obtaining such wonderful support from the likes of Lidl and others. TG4’s coverage of the showpiece was once again terrific too.
As for Lidl, ‘Serious Support’ sums up the level of backing the company has given Ladies’ Football and their advertisements, both on public posters and TV, are brilliantly done. The little girl in the TV ad urging her hero to get up was mirrored by thousands of young fans at HQ on Sunday.
As for the final itself, it was mostly played without the cynicism that was sometimes evident in the men’s final. Having said that, Dublin manager Mick Bohan’s comments concerning the referee and Frank Browne’s response in the aftermath were both needless.
The quality on show was also quite good although both sides were guilty of some wayward shooting. It was, however, played with great intensity and plenty of courage. Another great advert for Ladies Football and a sure sign that its popularity is only going to grow in the coming years.
I’ve written in this column before concerning the importance of sport among young people. I see it as a vital building block particularly among teenagers. It provides an outlet while also enabling young girls and boys to socialise in a healthy environment. It was therefore heartening to see the large groups of young girls in the crowd last Sunday. No doubt the Cora Stauntons of the future were among them.