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We need Dads to bring their girls to these matches | Aislinn Connolly on growing camogie

On a record-breaking weekend for camogie, former Galway player Aislinn Connolly encouraged men to take on a greater role in developing an interest in the sport. 

In the build-up to Sunday's All-Ireland final series, the Camogie Association had made their ambitions for the sport's showpiece event plain to see.

"We are issuing a callout now," said chief executive Sinéad McNulty in late July, "we want to create a record for camogie.

"We want to have 25,000 people here in Croke Park on the eighth of September."

That the ultimate figure fell 270 short will do little to diminish what was a record-breaking attendance for this event.

Speaking on Monday's OTB AM, former Galway camogie player Aislinn Connolly celebrated the achievement, before stating that attention must now turn toward how this progress is built upon in the immediate future.

"When you look back at 2014," noted Connolly, "the attendance was 12 or 13,000 - that's a shambles.

"So it is absolutely brilliant now that it is up around 25,000 and credit to the association. But now is the time to build on the momentum.

Proposing a wide-ranging roll-out of the sport into schools across the country, Connolly pointedly remarked upon the role fathers can have in encouraging their daughters to take up camogie.

"You need to get Dads bringing their girls to matches," she explained, "and their sons.

"It's often the case that you will have mothers bringing their girls, and Dads will take their sons to the All-Ireland hurling final or semi-finals no problem, but if you want your girls to grow up and learn determination, resilience, focus and teamwork, this sport teaches you all these things.

"I encourage any men listening to bring their girls to these games and get them involved in playing.

"This sport has taught me so much that has helped in my professional career, not just on the pitch."

You can watch Aislinn Connolly's interview and analysis of the weekend's senior final here.

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Aislinn Connolly All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final Galway Camogie Kilkenny Camogie

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