Tipperary men's health initiative wins national recognition

Tipperary men's health initiative wins national recognition

Tipperary hurling manager Michael Ryan has endorsed the men's health initiative.

A men's health awareness programme that started in Clonmel in September has been nominated for a national award,

The Place4U project,endorsed by senior hurling Tipperary manager Michael Ryan, in conjunction with a number of partners has been nominated for a STAR award from AONTAS.

The Men's Health and Wellbeing programme was launched in Clonmel earlier this year and began in September. It gave  30 men  the chance to experience how small lifestyle changes - such as becoming more active, eating a balanced diet, drinking responsibly and quitting smoking - can lead to positive health benefits.  

The programme concentrated on  Fitness – Health and Lifestyle – Cookery and Food. 

The inspiration for this new initiative is the Men’s Health and Wellbeing Programme developed by The Larkin Centre in Dublin for men aged 30 to 60.  The Larkin Centre used the appeal of football to engage men in a highly successful programme on health and wellbeing.  

Moyle Rovers GAA Club is a partner alongside VHI Health Services, Tipperary Education and Training Board (ETB) and Place 4U.

Tipperary Hurling Manager Michael Ryan supported the programme.

The first participants in the programme in Clonmel were recently awarded with their certificates.

At the certificate presentation - Front, Veronica Crowe, Sean Nugent, Philip O'Dwyer, Michael Ryan, Michael Campbell, Phil Prendergast, Ann Binchy.  Back, Harley Barnes, Peter Powell, Edwin Fitzgerald, John Norris, Stephen O'Leary, Bernard Sweeney, Aisling McGrath, Mary Hillery and Canon Brendan Crowley.

One of the group Noel Fanning wrote the following article entitled “Keep the Ball Rolling” on his experience of taking part in the scheme. 

As one of the thirty men who participated in this programme, the following is a brief description of the overall experience.

The programme was open to all men and the age profile of those attending ranged from mid thirties to eighty seven. A significant bond among the participants was formed at a very early stage and this created a fantastic environment for the ten week duration.

Each person had a blood test & health screening prior to commencement.  The programme was structured in a way that each week one to two hours was spent doing physical exercise while having fun in the gym, one hour for a talk by a qualified person on topics to do with health & wellness and two hours in the kitchen cooking and baking.

The gym work was planned so that each person exercised to their capabilities but not beyond. The talks were very informative and followed by a Question & Answer session. The cookery & baking lessons took the mystery from these two disciplines.

Each of the instructors and speakers were top class and this was appreciated by all. At the final feedback session not one negative point was raised by the participants.  The question of how the programme could be improved evoked answers like “By extending the duration of the programme” and “We’d pay to do the programme again”.

At the certificate presentation - Front, David Forrest, Paul Peters, John Paul Brunnock, Michael Ryan, Michael Campbell, Pat Byrne, Anthony Williams.  Middle, Noel Fanning, Michael Cahill, Eddie Power, Sean Kelleher, Chris Curran, John Joyce, John O'Dwyer, Joe Franmovich, Noel Burke Back, Francis Meehan and Gerry O'Brien.

Participating in the programme has encouraged me to take up walking daily again and this has led to a weigh loss of over one stone in ten weeks.  At the final health screening all the participants had improvements in the ratings for their BMI, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugars & Weight.  This programme has forged new friendships, improved health and wellness and increased everyone’s feel good factor. The presentation of certificates and the motivational speech at the graduation by the Tipperary Manager Michael Ryan was very much appreciated. The Tipperary jerseys we received during the programme are a great source of pride.

Arising from the experience the participants now meet on Friday mornings in the Place4U for a coffee and a chat. Some have also taken up group membership of the gym.

We all agree that it was a very positive experience and would recommend the programme to anyone who may have the chance to participate in the future.

Many thanks to the ETB, Place4U, VHI and everybody involved for the opportunity to participate.