Mayo clubs invited to participate in Healthy Club Project for 2022-2023
As part of its commitment to community development, the GAA’s Healthy Clubs Project (HCP) harnesses the potential of the GAA club as a setting in which to promote the health and wellbeing of club members, and the wider community. The aim of the award- winning Healthy Club Project is to transform clubs into hubs for health.
Almost 300 clubs (multiples in each county) have already gone through the innovative process, with a combined membership of 149,000, and received official recognition by the GAA and its project partners: Irish Life (corporate social responsibility partners), Healthy Ireland, the HSE, National Office for Suicide Prevention, and the Tomar Trust.
As a result, clubs have benefited by broadening their membership base and income generating opportunities, attracting more female leaders, enhancing their legitimacy within the community and relevance to communities not engaged in Gaelic Games.
In an era of unprecedented societal health challenges, the Healthy Club Project delivers evidence-based health promotion information and interventions backed up by appropriate policies and partnerships.
As part of the process, clubs engage with their members and community before identifying health themes upon which to focus on. Popular areas include walking challenges and groups, social Gaelic games, Green Clubs and sustainability initiatives, first aid and CPR training, All Stars programmes for children with additional needs, smoke-free clubs, Safe Talk suicide awareness training, One Good Coach online module with Jigsaw, youth leadership and healthy eating initiatives.
During the last phase of the project (2020-21), participating clubs were instrumental in the Covid-19 community response, collecting and delivering essential goods to members of their communities who were cocooning.
The main motivation for participating clubs is to be involved in the solution towards tackling societal issues such as mental health, suicide, obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
At the recent Heathy Club Virtual Conference, which attracted over 2,200 viewers, An Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, Larry McCarthy, said: “The success and growth of the Healthy Club Project is a testament to the power of volunteerism and the support of our partners. Its importance has never been more acute.
“I look forward to celebrating at the conference the success of our existing Healthy Clubs while encouraging other members to join us and be inspired to sign up their club for 2022.”
Club recruitment for the next phase of the Healthy Club Project (to commence on February 5 next year) is now open to all interested clubs across the association until December 3 at 12 p.m. There are 200 places available and interested club can apply online at https://healthyclubs.gaa.ie. Find out more about the Healthy Club Project here.