The health and wellbeing of members was firmly placed at the heart of GAA clubs today at the launch of Phase 1 of the new GAA Healthy Club Project in Croke Park.
Uachtarán CLG, Liam Ó Néill, and Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, Dr. Tony Holohan, jointly launched the project, reflecting its collaborative nature between the GAA and the HSE. At its core, the project aims to assist GAA clubs in responding to the wide and varied health needs of their members, while extending that positive influence out to the wider communities they serve.
GAA clubs all over the world already provide great health benefits for their players, members and communities alike. Yet there exists continuous demand from clubs for guidance in many areas relating to health promotion including:
• healthy eating and diet
• drug and alcohol awareness
• mental well-being and resilience development
• suicide prevention and response
• the promotion of health and wellbeing through physical activity
• activities for older and non-playing members
“The GAA Healthy Club Project aims to highlight and re-enforce the great work already being done by clubs while assisting them in identifying and responding to the most important health issues amongst their membership and in their communities,” Liam O’Neill said at the launch.
“This collaboration is an extension of the long-standing partnership between the Health Sector and the GAA through the Association’s ASAP (Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention) Programme, and we hope this project will further assist clubs and their communities to respond to their health needs in a holistic way at grass roots level,” added Dr. Tony Holohan.
A call for expressions of interest was issued to all clubs last December and January, with 18 clubs selected to participate in Phase 1 of the project, which will run for 24 months, following which time it will be independently evaluated. (See full breakdown of participating clubs below.)
The project is being directed at national level by a Croke Park Project Team and Steering Committee featuring representatives from the GAA, HSE, National Office of Suicide Prevention, the third level education sector (DCU and Carlow IT) and the Irish Sports Council. Four Operational Groups will assist in its roll-out at provincial level, tapping into support and expertise at GAA Provincial Council level, Local Sports Partnerships, and regional Health Promotion units, plus their northern counterparts. The clubs will also be encouraged to reach out to their wider membership and communities in order to tap into some of the exceptional skills people have in this area.
Notes to Editor:
The GAA Healthy Club Project is the first of its kind in the Irish sporting context, and has been kindly supported financially by the HSE, with further funding from the National Office of Suicide Prevention. For further details contact Colin Regan, GAA Community & Health Promotion Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 01-8658674 or 087-2945705.
The participating clubs are as follows:
Annacurra CLG, Wicklow
Thomas Davis, CLG Dublin
St Colmcilles, CLG Meath
St. John’s Volunteers, CLG Wexford
Liam Mellows Hurling Club, Galway
Ballinamore Sean O’ Heslin, CLG Leitrim
Eastern Harps, CLG Sligo
Oran, CLG Roscommon