Thursday, February 21, 2013
Jerry Kiernan critical of grants to GAA
Newstalk radio interviewed Irish athletics commentator Jerry Kiernan for his reaction. In it, he doesn't exactly mince his words.....
“I wouldn’t (give GAA players a grant), I think the GAA is the richest sporting association in the country, and they should be well able to look after themselves. I don’t particularly like the GAA, I don’t like football in particular, there’s not much to it….but I watched bits of the games over the weekend and what struck me was how unfit the players were.”
“My one abiding memory of the championship last year was when Donegal beat Kerry (in the All-Ireland quarter-final). In the Irish Times the following day you had (a photograph of) four Kerry players trooping off the field…and I looked at it and I said to myself ‘well these are four people who didn’t invest too much time in training.’ I don’t have a high opinion of their fitness; I don’t have a high opinion of their commitment to fitness.”
“…there’s absolutely no comparison (between athletes’ training regime and that of inter-county players). I believe that the GAA people live in a cloistered world and they don’t think beyond what they do themselves, and they tell themselves that they are training hard.”
“I often notice when they (GAA players) are commenting on things, they’re always talking about the sacrifices they make. You’ll never hear that among athletes, boxers, swimmers or people who do international running. But always with the GAA it’s always, always a sacrifice. Now maybe I’m extra sensitive to this…but they all talk about the sacrifice they’re making.”
“When you talk to them (the coaches) after, they’ll tell you how poor they (the players) are fitness-wise.”
“I would only give money to people who are competing internationally.”
The full interview can be heard below. It starts at 7:00 and runs until 22:40......
The grant scheme works out at €400 per GAA player per annum. Some will argue that the GAA should be funded as it's a sport unique to Ireland but should the inter county players be getting grants? Should sports grants be reserved for international athletes?