Following on from the successful completion of Phase 1 of the Healthy Club Project, all Armagh GAA clubs are now encouraged to register their interest in participating in Phase 2. At least one club from each county will be selected to participate in this exciting opportunity. As you may be aware Culloville Blues GAA club represented Armagh in Phase 1 of the project and were very successful.
The Healthy Club Project aims to support clubs in building healthy practises into their everyday activities while also responding to the health and wellbeing needs of their members and their communities. The project involves an innovative partnership with the GAA’s Community & Health section, the HSE, and the National Office for Suicide Prevention, while Irish Life has delivered a three year CSR investment of €1m to help it achieve its potential in supporting the health of the nation in a very proactive way.
During their Phase 1 journey, which started in March 2013, the 18 participating clubs (four from each province plus two mentoring clubs) looked afresh at the topic of health their club. They implemented 79 different activities involving exciting partnerships and policies that placed wellbeing at the heart of the clubs’ ethos. The areas they focused on were decided by the clubs, and included physical activity, emotional wellbeing, health screening, anti-bullying, diet and nutrition, inclusion, drug and alcohol awareness, life skill and personal development, anti-smoking, facilities development, and engagement with older community members.
An independent report into Phase 1, launched in Croke Park last week by Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, and an Uachtarán Cumann Luthchleas Gael, Aogán Ó Fearghail, revealed that the clubs also benefitted from the experience, with evidence of increased memberships, a broadening of the volunteer base, greater recognition for the clubs in their communities, and access to some new funding and sponsorship avenues.
Many of the clubs also gained local and national recognition for their efforts. Castleblayney Faughs picked up the Irish Sports Club of the Year award at the Sports Industry Awards earlier in November, having already been announced Ulster GAA Club of the Year 2014. Its ‘Operation TransFAUGHmation’ is empowering hundreds from their local area to take ownership of their health and a fun, collective way. (This brilliant video captures how – https://www.gaa.ie/gaa-news-and-videos/daily-news/1/0611151730-castleblayney-faughs-claim-club-of-the-year-award/).
The St. Finbarr’s and Midleton clubs were awarded joint first place in the national Health Management Institute awards 2014 by the Minister for Health for their ground-breaking ‘Cork Beats Stress’ six-week programme. Rolled out in partnership with the HSE’s psychological services it benefitted hundreds of people in their catchment areas. St. Colmcille’s GAA club was awarded REHAB Community group of the year in Meath and was awarded seed funding from the GENIO Foundation to support its unique ‘How are you Today?’ community mental health outreach programme. St. John’s Volunteer’s, Wexford, became the country’s first completely smoke-free GAA club.
Phase 2 of the project will involve a total of 50 clubs, at least one from each county. It will run for 18 months from early 2016. All interested clubs are required to complete an online application form outlining your club’s motivation for becoming a ‘healthy club’.
To register your club’s interest go to www.gaa.ie/community where you will also find some FAQs about what Phase 2 will involve, and you can download the full Phase 1 evaluation report. Deadline for applications is Friday, January 15, 2016.
For enquiries please contact: Colin Regan, GAA Community & Health Manager. Mobile: 087-2945705; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org