Camogie star Ashling Thompson reveals extent of verbal abuse in club games

Camogie star Ashling Thompson reveals extent of verbal abuse in club games

CORK camogie captain Ashling Thompson has revealed she has been the target of verbal abuse relating to her battle with depression.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Off the Ball show, Thompson admitted that ‘sledging’ – a sporting term for verbal abuse – is common in camogie, particularly at club level with Milford.

Using words such as “dirty” and “disgusting” to describe the abuse, the Cork star believes more needs to be done to eradicate this behaviour from the game.

She said: “It has to be faced head on, maybe some sort of a rule could be issued where players are sent off for it. I couldn’t imagine a 17 or 18-year-old putting up with it.”

One incident occurred whereby the abuse received was of an extremely personal nature for Thompson, whose ex-partner committed suicide in 2012.

Recalling the incident she said: “My ex-partner was brought into it and (they said) ‘would you blame him’.

“I never expected people to stoop to that level…

“When you hear it coming out of an athlete’s mouth, I couldn’t figure out at senior level why players act this way.

“It was absolutely disgusting but I tend to channel my revenge through my play. My answer is to absolutely destroy them on the field.”

When Thompson was asked on what advice she would give to anyone who becomes a victim of ‘sledging’, she said: “Never quit.”

She also suggested that when a line is crossed, suspensions and punishments should be put in place to deter other players from doing the same, if they go unpunished during the match.