Castletown put major focus on well-being

Published 26/03/2016 | 00:00

The Castletown-Liam Mellows G.A.A. club has been selected to participate in phase two of the innovative G.A.A. Healthy Clubs project.

This aims to support their members' and their communities' health by empowering them to take greater ownership of every aspect of it - be it physical, emotional, or social. The motto is: 'Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Clubs'.

Aogán Ó Fearghail, G.A.A. President, commended all the clubs that applied for phase two (almost one hundred in total) and wished those selected every success on their journey.

'The G.A.A. is more than just a sporting association, we are also a community organisation. We want to ensure that everyone who comes in contact with our clubs - be they players, officers, coaches, referees, parents, or just members of our communities - benefit from that experience. We believe that the Healthy Clubs project will help support clubs in achieving that goal,' he said.

The project is a key element of the G.A.A's growing work in the area of well-being. It involves a unique public-private partnership involving the Irish health sector (Health Service Executive/National Office for Suicide Prevention) and Irish Life, whose Corporate Social Responsibility (C.S.R.) investment has made phase two possible. It also benefits from input by Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency, and relevant academia.

The independent evaluation into phase one (which ran from March 2013-July 2015 and involved 16 clubs across the four provinces including St. John's Volunteers) strongly endorsed the project's partnership approach to addressing health and well-being at community level.

The report, by a team from Waterford I.T's Centre for Health Behavioural Research, also commended the clubs' volunteers for their selfless work in areas relating to healthy eating, physical activity, emotional well-being and mental health, social inclusion, youth development, and much more.

Phase two, which will run for approximately 18 months, remains a learning experience for all involved. The 60 participating clubs (at least one from each county) and the Community and Health team in Croke Park are breaking new ground.

Through the continued evaluation of their experiences they hope to develop a suite of resources and materials that will be fit for purpose as they aspire to make the Healthy Clubs project available to all interested clubs in phase three.

Club Chairman, Gabriel Maxwell, said: 'Castletown-Liam Mellows are proud to announce that our club has been successful in our application to participate in the G.A.A's Healthy Clubs project. Over 100 clubs around the country applied for this second phase of the project, and just 30 were selected. This project aims to highlight and improve the health and well-being of our club members and the wider community'.

'Our club will be using Lá na gClubanna on May 8 as an opportunity to officially launch our participation in the project. More details will follow but we are inviting all interested persons to come along, get involved, and help make our community a healthy place for everyone to enjoy.'

For more details visit the club's website (www.castletownliammellows.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/castletowngaa), Twitter (@CastletownGAA ), or go to www.gaa.ie/community

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