15 years on from the introduction of the monthly Gaelic Players Association awards in 2006, this week saw the first time the PwC sponsored accolade has been extended to female competitors.
Since the ground breaking decision to unite the women’s GPA with their opposite sex equivalent came last year after a vote amongst its members, this step marks yet another stride towards parity in an ever ongoing effort to increase representation of women in sport in the mainstream media.
🚨Equal effort deserves equal recognition! 🚨— Maria Kinsella (@kinsella_maria) June 8, 2021
Great to see @PwCIreland sponsor the @gaelicplayers Player of the Month Awards across all four codes this year!
Sponsors can play a leading role in creating a level playing field and driving equality in sports. #thingsyoulovetosee pic.twitter.com/mPwu1u16OR
Voted upon by their peers based on their performances over the past month, the award recognises the players efforts and outstanding individual displays, with prizes up for grabs courtesy of the PwC accounting firm.
Speaking on the announcement their Managing Partner Feargal O’Rourke spoke about how the company were “proud” to be involved with the honours and also reflected on the input and addition of women’s gaelic players.
“The effort, dedication and skill of women Gaelic players is exceptional and we believe they should be celebrated equally” he said.
“At PwC we foster a culture of diversity, equality and inclusion, values which are reflected in these awards. We’re looking forward to a great summer of action in all four Championships and seeing the best players recognised by their peers as Player of the Month Award winners.”
Ciarán Barr speaking on behalf of the Interim CEO of the GPA also commented that the “PwC’s support for inter-county players is once again coming to the fore with today’s inaugural PwC GPA Women’s Player of the Month Awards and that support is something for which we are extremely thankful.”
“When the GPA merged with the WGPA we added the pillar of Equality to our constitution. That centred on the requirement to address Equality when it came to Investment, Recognition and Opportunity for both genders. This sponsorship is another step along that road and, coupled with the recent announcement by the Department of Sport around public funding of female inter-county players, shows how serious we are around achieving equitable treatment for our female membership.”
While this month David Clifford and Ciaran Clarke were presented with their respective awards in their codes, Ciara O’Sullivan (football) and Gráinne Egan (camogie) were too bestowed the kudos of POTM.
PwC Women’s Player of the Month (football)- Ciara O’Sullivan
Four time All-Star and eight time All Ireland winner Ciara O’Sullivan collected the first ever women’s football GPA player of the month award for her conduct throughout the month of May.
With Cork having faced stiff competition against Tipperary (21st of May) and Dublin (29th of May), the Mourneabbey clubwoman has started the season in flying form and won out against fellow nominees Andrea Trill (Galway) and Hannah Tyrell (Dublin).
Putting three points over the bar against Tipperary in their opening game, O’Sullivan continues to cement herself as a stalwart in The Rebels team and a danger to any opposition put in front of her.
She then went on to score 1-3 against reigning champions Dublin, giving Cork hope in the final stages of the repeat of last years All Ireland, but ultimately the girls in blue scraped away with the victory in what was a cracking match and an awe-inspiring game from O’Sullivan.
PwC Women’s Player of the Month (camogie)- Gráinne Egan
There is only one word that suffices to sum up Gráinne Egan’s outings in the month of May- phenomenal.
Cleary this was recognised by her fellow GPA members too as she was crowned the first ever women’s camogie player of the month against Cait Devane (Tipperary) and Chloe Sigerson (Cork), although in truth perhaps she could have even been in the running for the football distinction as well!
The star of the show against the capital city on the 22nd of May, Egan racked up 3-5 of Offaly’s 4-07 to 1-14 win in the Littlewoods Camogie League, before dawning out for the gaelic football code the next day and scoring 1-8 Vs Carlow In Division 4B of the NFL.