Chasing history: The Waterford Senior Camogie Panel, featuring Green Acre Marketing-sponsored Sarah Morrissey (back row, centre, No 29), which will take on Cork in this Sunday’s All-Ireland Final at Croke Park (throw-in: 5pm). Photo: Noel Browne
Ahead of Waterford’s first appearance in an All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final since 1945, one of the Déise’s history-making panel has acknowledged the support she’s receiving from Green Acre Marketing, Ireland’s leading agribusiness marketing company.
Sarah Morrissey, who plays with the An Rinn club in West Waterford, is deeply appreciative of the backing Green Acre has provided during her debut season at senior level.
“The support has been amazing,” said the 23-year-old forward. “The amount of companies that have come on board this year, including Green Acre Marketing, has allowed us to prepare in the best way possible. And that backing has helped us to reach an All-Ireland Final. It’s been brilliant.”
Born and reared on the family farm in Ballinacourty, on the outskirts of Dungarvan, Sarah’s childhood summers were spent “picking spuds and milking cows – and it was nice to be pretty much outside for the whole of the summer. I suppose it might also have been my introduction to strength and conditioning training!”
Having played a little camogie (“but mostly football”) in primary school, Sarah’s camogie skills were developed in the colours of neighbouring An Rinn, which was where her ‘grá’ for the game flourished.
“When I was in Third Year in the Friary (St Augustine’s College), our first camogie team was established and I really got into it. I then went out to play in Ring and it’s gone pretty well for me since.”
Having played for the Waterford Junior team since the age of 17, Sarah has enjoyed her elevation into senior ranks.
“It’s been a big step up this year but all the girls have been so nice and it’s great to be training at the highest level – it’s been a fantastic year so far for us and it’s great to be part of it.
“In the last few minutes of the All-Ireland semi-final against Tipp, we were all sat in the stands, holding hands – we could barely look given how nervous we all were. But when that final whistle blew, sure we bolted out onto the pitch, screaming and hugging. To be all together, celebrating that moment, was so special.
She added: “We’ve been together three, four, even five days a week – sure we’ve seen each other more often than our own families in the past few months – but there’s a real family spirit in this group of players and that can only be a positive. All we can do between now and Sunday is stay sharp, do the basics right and remember to enjoy it as well because these days don’t come around too often.”
Green Acre Marketing Managing Director Aileen Barron said she was delighted to support Sarah as part of the corporate effort supporting the group, which is managed by Sean Power.
“Farming and Gaelic Games go hand in hand and represent the lifeblood of every rural community.”
“As a former Waterford player, the forward advance of camogie throughout the city and county over the past decade or so has been so satisfying,” she said.
“The character the team showed to recover the way they did against Tipperary to reach this Sunday’s final showed how far this group has come and how determined they were to surpass what they achieved last year.”
Aileen continued: “Farming and Gaelic Games go hand in hand and represent the lifeblood of every rural community. Green Acre Marketing is proud to sponsor Sarah, who hails from an agricultural background and is readily familiar with the year-round commitment that both farming and sport requires of its practitioners. Whether you’re in the yard or out on the pitch, there are always days when going the extra mile can make all the difference. Sarah is still very much on the launchpad of her senior inter-county career and is part of a group that’s on the brink of achieving something very special.”
Waterford Camogie manager Sean Power (pictured following the win over Tipperary) described the many Waterford businesses, families and supporters who have supported this year’s push for glory as “the best of people”.
He added: “The financial support, from our corporate sponsors, to companies such as Green Acre Marketing and smaller individual donations, has been fantastic. The level of genuine interest that the business community and the wider public has shown in the players has been incredibly uplifting. There’s a lot of good people in Waterford who want to see our sports stars succeeding and they’ve put their hands into their pockets to support our players, and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate that support.”
Aileen Barron concluded: “We’d like to wish Sarah, her team mates, along with Sean and his management team the best of luck of this Sunday against Cork. And let’s hope come the full-time whistle at Croke Park, Waterford Camogie will be the pick of the 2023 crop!”
Sarah Morrissey (centre): “We’ve got to remember to enjoy Sunday as well because these days don’t come around too often.” Photo: Noel Browne