Kilkenny aiming for back-to-back titles as they face rivals Cork
The Finals of the upcoming Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues were launched this week with the Division 1 Final set to form part of a double-header with the National Hurling League Division 1 Final.
The Division 1 Final sees reigning champions Kilkenny face their rivals Cork in a repeat of September's All-Ireland Final in which the Cats prevailed to end a 22-year wait for All-Ireland glory.
The Division 2 Final sees Cork take on Derry, whilst in the Division 3 Final Dublin will face Roscommon.
Present at the launch were President of the Camogie Association Catherine Neary, Managing Director of Littlewoods Ireland Geoff Scully, as well as players from the Division 1 finalists; Cork's Julia White & Anna Farrell of Kilkenny.
The Division 1 Final will take place on Sunday April 23rd, as part of a double-header with the National Hurling League Division 1 Final in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. The Division 1 Final will also be broadcast live on TG4 from 1.25pm. The Division 2 and 3 Finals will take place on Sunday April 30th.
This is the first year that the National Camogie Leagues have had a title sponsor with Littlewoods Ireland signing a three-year deal with the GAA and the Camogie Association in December 2016. The agreement will see Littlewoods Ireland sponsor both the National Camogie League and the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship until 2019.
The sponsorship kicked off with the "Style Of Play" campaign which ran throughout the league. Littlewoods Ireland showcased the skill and style of the players on the pitch with their Style of Play Awards which were given to the players for the most stylish moment during a game. This ranged from points, to solos, to saves and goals and each player was rewarded with the bespoke Style of Play trophy that was specially commissioned for the league. The winner was chosen from the match highlights video for each of the feature games which were presented on both the Littlewoods Ireland and the Camogie Association's digital channels. Following the league final, members of the public will be asked to vote for their favourite Style of Play moment from the nine award winners featured on the Littlewoods Ireland social media channels.
Speaking about the upcoming Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League finals, President of the Camogie Association Catherine Neary said: "We are really looking forward to the upcoming finals of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues. The National Leagues are of huge importance to Camogie and it is important to recognise the commitment and dedication of the players across all counties in their pursuit of a coveted National League title. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the teams involved and most especially the six teams who will compete in the three finals.
"In particular the Camogie Association wishes to acknowledge the support of Littlewoods Ireland, sponsors of the National Leagues. This is the first year of Littlewoods Ireland's sponsorship of the National Leagues and we are delighted with the collaborative and innovative nature of this sponsorship thus far. Littlewoods Ireland have been proud and enthusiastic supporters of Camogie and we look forward to strengthening that relationship into the future."
Geoff Scully, Managing Director of Littlewoods Ireland said: "The past few months have been a very exciting time at Littlewoods Ireland. The partnership with the Camogie Association has allowed us to engage with local communities across the country and enabled us to bring our love of style and innovation to a wider audience. During this sponsorship, it has been our priority to inspire more girls to play at a grassroots level and increase the number of people watching Camogie. It has been a pleasure to work with the Camogie Association and we are looking forward to continuing this important work over the years to come."
He went on to add: "Throughout this league I have seen, first-hand, the level of commitment, sacrifice and determination that these teams have shown in their journey to become National League champions. The level of skill and athleticism is outstanding and they are all a testament to their teams, communities and counties. Everyone at Littlewoods Ireland would like to wish all of the teams the very best of luck!"