from left, Michael Geaney, Nenagh Éire Óg, Séamus Delaney and Kevin Fitzgerald, JK Brackens, and Liam Fleming, Fr Sheehy's, alongside Seán Cavanagh, Healthy Clubs Ambassador and former Tyrone footbal
Fr. Sheehy’s GAA Club in Clogheen is amongt three Tipperary GAA clubs who have been honoured with national recognition at the first official GAA Healthy Clubs Awards ceremony in Croke Park.
The award winning Healthy Clubs Project (HCP) aims to turn clubs into hubs for health in their communities
With almost the same number of GAA clubs as GPs across Ireland, the project offers a new setting in which to deliver health promotion and interventionsi
A special ceremony with governmental representation in Croke Park on Saturday, 4th November saw 58 GAA clubs recognised as the first official ‘Healthy Clubs’ on the island of Ireland.
Three Tipperary GAA clubs, Fr. Sheehy's (Clogheen), Nenagh Éire Óg, and JK Brackens can now proudly fly a flag above their grounds (endorsed by both Healthy Ireland and the Public Health Agency in NI), letting their members and communities know that they value health and wellbeing as much as leagues and championships.
These three progressive GAA clubs are the first in Tipperary to receive national recognition. Their various health and wellbeing initiatives have had a tremendous impact on their clubs and wider communities.
Fr. Sheehy’s GAA made history last year when they launched their complete smoke free policy, the first of its kind in Tipperary. They also provide a social outlet for individuals in the surrounding area through the Siul Eile Walking Group. The aim of the initiative is to reconnect communities and reduce isolation through walking programs. In 2016 they coordinated over 80 walks around Clogheen and the surrounding areas, attended by over 350 individuals who between them walked almost 16,000km, all in their own locality.
JK Brackens GAA Club in partnership with Our Lady’s Secondary School Templemore coordinated ‘Recipes for Success’, a practical and educational nutritional workshop aimed at minor players.
Nine young club members from Nenagh Éire Óg GAA club were given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through The Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative, an accredited programme by the National University of Ireland, Galway, aimed at 15- 18 year olds.
Former Tyrone football captain Seán Cavanagh is a big supporter of the GAA’s Healthy Club Project (HCP) and presented the clubs with their official flag and plaque in Croke Park.
He said “I’ve seen myself how the GAA brings communities together in so many different ways so it’s fantastic to see the association taking a leadership role in developing healthier communities. The Healthy Clubs around the country are having a positive impact on so many children and young people and as a parent I think it is fantastic. Through this project I think people will start to appreciate the role of the GAA in our communities even more.”
The innovative Healthy Club model was developed in partnership with Healthy Ireland, the HSE’s health promotion division, the National Office for Suicide Prevention, and is supported by Irish Life through a CSR investment.
Aogán Ó Fearghail, An Uachtarán Cumann Luthchleas Gael said, “The 58 Healthy Clubs recognised today have gone above and beyond what is normally expected of a sports club. Health and wellbeing is core to what the GAA is all about and these clubs help bring that to life. I’d like to thank our partners, Healthy Ireland, the HSE, National Office for Suicide Prevention, the Public Health Agency, and Irish Life, for helping to make the Healthy Club project the success it is. We look forward to growing it from strength to strength.”
The GAA hope to extend the project to 150 clubs in Phase 3 (with expressions of interest to open in early 2018) before opening the project to all interested clubs in 2020. There are 1,600 clubs in Ireland and over 400 abroad.
For more information, visit: www.gaa.ie/community
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