Six Offaly Clubs have been accepted to participate in Phase 4 of the GAA Healthy Club Project, and all attended an orientation day in Croke Park on 1st February.
The clubs involved are Bracknagh, Daingean, Kilcormac-Killoughey, St Rynagh’s Hurling, St Rynagh’s Football and Seir Kieran.
They are following in the footsteps of Tubber and Coolderry GAA Clubs, who have achieved Healthy Club status.
Tubber GAA led the way in Phase 2, and have been a great example of how a GAA Club can be the hub of wider healthy activities within the community. Coolderry GAA achieved their Healthy Club status last November and were honoured with hosting the launch of the GAA’s ‘Ireland Lights Up’ initiative in association with Get Ireland Walking, RTE Operation Transformation.
The Healthy Club Project is a GAA initiative backed by Irish Life and Healthy Ireland. It is focused on improving the health of the nation.
The aim is to ensure that everyone who engages with their GAA club benefits from the experience in a health-enhancing way, be they players, officers, coaches, parents, supporters, or members of their local community.
The intention is that GAA clubs will become hubs for health information and programmes thereby empowering their members and communities to enjoy healthier lifestyles.
What is a Healthy Club?
Each club and community will have its own idea of what constitutes a Healthy Club. However, from experience to date, some principles underpin all Healthy Clubs.
• Recognise health and wellbeing as a core value; one that is everyone’s responsibility with everyone having a role to play.
• View health as something holistic that involves physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing.
• Seek to make their club setting /environment as healthy as possible and set a good example through their practices, policies, and partnerships.
• Are community clubs that aim to extend their positive influence beyond their membership.
• Are inclusive clubs that aim to offer people of all abilities and backgrounds the opportunity to participate in the club in a meaningful way, throughout their lifespan.
• Are not expected to do everything themselves, but instead work in partnership to build stronger, more connected communities.
The ultimate aim of the project is to involve every GAA club in the country, thus enhancing the long-term health of every community in the 32 counties and ensuring a healthier future for everyone.
Clubs who completed the pilot phases have been awarded and recognised as official “Healthy Clubs”
The following are some of the main benefits and opportunities among many others based on evidence why clubs should get involved:
· Increase in membership
· Better engagement with club activities
· Opening up funding avenues
· Better opportunity to link the local community with club activities
· Sense of achievement
· Set a positive example
· Networking opportunities
· Increase in media coverage both locally and nationally
· Improvements in the health promoting activities of clubs specifically with club policy, practice and the club environment (both physical and cultural).