No one is claiming that all our GAA players could be successful Olympians, it's just that when you discount all t he GAA, football and rugby players in the country, there's a fairly small pool left over, particularly when you consider Ireland's population. Eliminate most of that small pool to find the few who are properly good at their sports (athletics or rowing or whatever) and you really have very few people.eldanielfire wrote:there is a bit of a fallacy here, often repeated in sports science, it assumes the GAA athletes would be Olympic beaters in other sports. But as Union/league/7's have shown even in a similar sport can mean most competitors won't be world beaters if they move sport. It's rare that it's a successful move. They might be quite good but not podium level good. The best are the best by the smallest of margins in their genes and preparation, there is no universal athletic gene.Nolanator wrote:Anyone who is of reasonable athletic ability plays Gaelic sports, it's absolutely massive around the country. The remainder mostly play football (soccer) and then rugby. After that you've a very small pool from which to choose potential Olympians.
We do have a women's 7s team; they missed out of qualification. Think they got to the semis of their last qualifying event, which they needed to win. They'd kick several shades of shite out of the Brazilian and Columbian women's teams; Europe is a harder qualification route.
We have a men's team that only really started properly in the last year, but they missed out on qualification too. The IRFU pumps money into the A team at the expense of a 7s program. There isn't the professional player base or financial ability to support both 7s and the A team, the latter of which is much more useful to the senior men's team.
Funding for such sports reflects the participation levels, so the facilities often aren't tippy top, which compounds the problem.
Basically, outside of the Olympics there is very little appetite amongst the general population for "non-mainstream" sports.