Clan na Gael coach Breige Moore is rewarded for camogie commitment
ONLY having her children took Breige Moore away from Clan na Gael – and even their involvement with another Lurgan club hasn't kept her away.
"I married into St Peter's, all the kids play for St Peter's, but it's the love of the sport that has kept me at Clan na Gael, going down there for the love of the game," she explains.
More than 30 years' involvement with the Clans' camogie teams, first as a player then as a coach and also latterly an administrator, earned her an Irish News SCV Volunteer of the Year award.
Work commitments prevented her attending the ceremony, and she admits she's a somewhat reluctant recipient anyway:
"I was well pleased – but I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who do more than me.
"I was grateful that Jackie [Findon] put the application in, unbeknown to me. If it gives any kind of profile for camogie and the club then I'm more than willing to accept the award."
She explains the need for a raised profile: "We do struggle – for facilities for a start, then with girls being dual players, and schools aren't promoting camogie as much as football either. It's hard."
However, she still enjoys her ongoing commitment to camogie at Clan na Gael: "I started playing at the age of 10 and played for the guts of 30 years; I've also been coaching for on and off for around 15/16 years. I took a break when I had my kids and then got back into it.
"We won a Division Three League last year and we're in a Championship final soon.
"My whole ethos is enjoyment, development, and building of confidence within players, making sure that everybody is treated equal and that they all get game-time.
"I have been involved at committee level as well for quite a few years."
The aforementioned Jackie Findon, who nominated Breige and collected the award in her absence, commented: "She coaches the U14s and U16s, is the registrar for the club, and she also has a young family and a working life. She develops the camogie very, very well.
"The children love her, because she develops players individually, brings the game down to their level, treats them all equally."
Another club colleague, Denise McStay, has had a long association with Breige, recalling: "I played with Breige, I also saw her as a young player coming through, and now as a coach. She definitely is very important part of the club.
"It's a great challenge – Clan na Gael represents the only actual [camogie] club in the Lurgan area, so in that respect it's a very important club.
"The main challenge stems from the fact that there has been a lack of coaching in some schools, so we're taking some kids at an older age who haven't played the game before.
"It's a wonderful game and we think there are green shoots at underage level, including input from parents coming from other countries.
"It's the likes of Breige and Jackie who are encouraging that and working so hard. It takes a lot of work, commitment, and resources, and we're struggling for those at the moment.
"Breige has an affiliation with the St Peter's club, but her camogie would have been with Clan na Gael. Wonderful player, played county as well, and gives a return to the club very unselfishly – we're very proud of her".