GAA launches ‘healthy clubs project’

The GAA has launched the next stage of its Healthy Clubs Project (HCP) – and are encouraging more GAA clubs get involved to support communities in pursuit of better physical, social, and mental wellbeing.
Created in 2013, with the support of the HSE, National Office for Suicide Prevention, Irish Life and Healthy Ireland, the intention of the HCP is that every GAA club will become a hub for health and wellbeing. Each participating club is supported in how best to make their club more health-enhancing, covering a variety of topics including, physical activity; emotional wellbeing; health screening; healthy eating; drug, alcohol, and gambling education; anti-smoking; youth and community development, alongside providing activities for older members of the community.
The project has already run to in 60 clubs nationally, hosting wide-ranging initiatives such as “Operation TransFAUGHmation” (Castleblayney Faughs, Monaghan) which started out with 105 participants in 2011 and has grown to 250 people taking part in 2016, for the past few years, the GAA has worked on empowering clubs by establishing health and wellbeing committees at national, provincial, and county level, while also recommending that all clubs appoint a health and wellbeing officer, GAA Community & Health manager, Colin Regan, explained more about it to Tony Ghee on Shannonside Northern Sound;
He says ‘it augments and boosts the work clubs are doing in the area of health of well being. We have  terrific ambassadors in the programme. The former Leitrim footballer says ‘the phase 1 club increased membership, increased fundraising broadening the volunteer base and attracted new sponsorships. What we want to do  is dispel the myths about health and well being and its not as complicated as some people would make out and your GAA club is a great place to start with your health and well being.
Leading the call-out for increased participation in the programme is Marcella Corcoran, Minister of State for Health Promotion, Department of Health (ROI), Mr Gerard Collins, Director of Population Health NI, alongside ambassadors; Aoife Lane, Chairperson of the Women’s Gaelic Players Association; Philly McMahon, Gaelic footballer for Dublin and Ballymun Kickhams; Mickey Harte, manager of the Tyrone senior inter-county team and Michael Fennelly, hurler with the Kilkenny senior team.

To better inform interested new clubs about the project, the GAA will be hosting informative roadshows across the four provinces from the beginning of February The Healthy Club ambassadors will attend each event, while a selection of the 60 clubs currently engaged in Phase 2 will also showcase some of their exciting work and projects.