In a recent survey of adult Camogie players, over half (55.3%) of the players surveyed felt that there was a need to have supports in Camogie clubs for dealing with eating disorders. Eating disorders are complex disorders which are characterised by severe disturbances in eating behaviour. They can lead to psychological and physical complications some of which are life threatening (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2014). They are increasingly common amongst a generation of young people under pressure at school, at home, in the workplace and possibly also on the sports field.
Being involved in a sports team or partaking in sporting activities generally helps young people to foster positive self-esteem and a healthy body image. However sometimes the focus on body image brought about by sportswear, fitness tests or attention to nutrition can lead vulnerable individuals to become more likely to develop an eating disorder.
Teammates and sports coaches may be able to detect possible eating problems at an early stage and therefore prevent them from progressing into eating disorders. Coaches may also be in a position to assist in the prevention of these problems developing by modifying their coaching habits.
Research indicates that negative body image and low self-esteem are significant risk factors for the development of an eating disorder. Research amongst young people in Ireland tells us that body image is a key issue affecting youth mental health. A study of 2,500 young people last year indicated that 72% cited body image concerns as a source of difficulty in their lives (Reach Out, 2017). Negative body image is also linked to higher levels of depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance misuse, self-harm and suicide.
In light of the growing concern in this area, the Camogie Association have teamed up with Bodywhys to develop a new online resource to promote positive body image and self-esteem in our players. This easy to use resource includes a range of videos and group and individual exercises which can be delivered by coaches over two or three hourly sessions with their team.
As well as developing this online resource for coaches, Bodywhys and the Camogie Association will be running information sessions nationwide on the following dates:
· 3rd October: Galway: 7-8.30pm
· 10th October: Dublin: 7-8.30pm Venue: Skerries Harps
· 17th October: Cork: 7-8.30pm
· 24th October: Monaghan: 7-8.30pm Venue: Castleblaney
These sessions will cover:
· Information on Eating Disorders
· Development of Eating Disorders
· Body Image – youth perspective
· Promoting positive body image
Please click HERE to confirm your attendance at any of the information sessions.
For more information or to sign up for training please contact the Camogie Association's Player Welfare Co-ordinator Paul O’Donovan @ firstname.lastname@example.org