Mayo motion on drinks sponsors
The acceptance of sponsorship from drink companies by rugby and soccer came in for strong criticism at the Mayo GAA county convention in Geesla on Monday night. A motion was passed at the meeting to go before Congress in relation to the carrying of sponsorship logos for drink companies, particularly on the jerseys worn by young people.
A warning was issued that the GAA should not go down the road of rugby and soccer where the logos of drink companies are emblazoned across the jersey.
Proposed by Tourmakeady GAA club and given the unanimous backing of the convention, the motion states where the sponsor of a county team is principally involved in the business of supplying alcohol, the brand name distinctive marks or logo of that sponsor may not be used on the replica clothing or merchandise marketed or labelled as being for children under the age of 16.
The motion demanded no company principally involved in the business of supplying alcohol shall be permitted to sponsor a competition for under-21s.
Leading drink awareness campaigner and former GAA president Dr Mick Loftus said the effects of alcohol abuse were well known as are the inherent dangers to youths who are influenced by the advertising of such products and their association with sport.
He said unfortunately the hurling championship still had a link with an alcohol-related sponsor but he warned of the inherent dangers of logos emblazoned across soccer and rugby shirts, particularly those sold to younger people. “We should learn from the policy of the French where no sponsorship from alcohol companies is allowed, particularity on the jerseys worn by players and visiting teams have to remove such advertising,” he said.
Dr Loftus said there was a perception he was against drinking but it was not the case. “I am against the abuse of alcohol.”