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Mayo ladies GAA star: Inequality in sport 'unacceptable'

Mayo ladies GAA footballer Sarah Rowe, pictured left, has described her frustration at the lack of equality in sport

A MAYO ladies GAA footballer has described the inequality in the sport as "unacceptable".

Sarah Rowe plays football for Mayo, Dublin City University and her home club in Ballina.

The 20-year-old, who also plays soccer for Shelbourne, said she cannot envisage a time when there will be a level playing field for ladies sport.

"It definitely impacts on players, but we're nearly so used to it at this stage that it feels normal, we don't complain about it because it's not going to change anyway," she told the Sunday Independent.

"It's not acceptable, definitely not. When I look at any boys' team - and I've talked to a few of them - I realise that I train more than them and they get way more than I've ever gotten.

"No lads team would put up with the conditions we train and play in, they would go nuts.

"The lads complain that the game isn't professional, while we'd settle for a bit of food."

Ms Rowe, a student at Dublin City University, said the set-up in women's soccer was much better than the GAA.

"There is just more money involved in the soccer," she said.

"Our Shelbourne team are treated really well, we still wouldn't get food after training, but you get nice gear, there is a very good structure in place, it's very professional.

"With Mayo at the moment, we are training on a pitch in Ballyhaunis where there are only two floodlights and we can barely see to the other side and the pitch is absolutely in a heap."

She said the Mayo ladies team have to provide their own food, with each player taking it in turns to bring supplies.

"It could be sandwiches or fruit or rice cakes, but it's not even anything proper that you should be eating after training," she said.

"Often times we have to arrange our own lifts because we can't afford to get a bus to the matches. It's very frustrating."

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