A study released today shows that senior intercounty players dedicate 31 hours a week to gaelic games.
The Economic and Social Research Institute's report, entitled 'Playing senior inter-county Gaelic games; Experiences, realities and consequences' - commissioned by the GAA and the Gaelic Players Association – is based on interviews with more than 1,000 players. It shows that county footballers and hurlers get less sleep, have a higher injury rate and poorer mental health than the general population, while being forced to compromise on personal relationships.
The research for the study was carried out around the 2016 season and 40% of respondents said they had no break from gaelic games during the calendar year. The main reason why players retire is to focus on their professional careers.
GPA chief executive Seamus Hickey states: “Through our extensive regional engagement with players, county managers and medical teams, we are witnessing a change in the attitude of players on issues concerning player welfare. More and more players find themselves under increasing pressure – physical, emotional and financial –due to the exceptional demands being placed on them.”