Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Cill Mhantáin
Get Involved in Healthy Clubs
What is the Healthy Club project (HCP) ?
The HCP is a GAA initiative backed by Irish Life and Healthy Ireland. It is focused on improving the health of the nation. The GAA, which reaches into every community on the island of Ireland, has always had a significant role to play in the health of the nation through its promotion of Gaelic Games. The association’s HCP brings a new dimension to this work and capitalises on the key role played by GAA clubs in local communities. The project empowers clubs to deliver health and wellbeing information and programmes directly to their members and to the wider communities that they serve.
The aim is to ensure that everyone who engages with their GAA club benefits from the experience in a health-enhancing way, be they players, officers, coaches, parents, supporters, or members of their local community.
The intention is that GAA clubs will become hubs for health information and programmes thereby empowering their members and communities to enjoy healthier lifestyles.
The ultimate aim of the project is to involve every GAA club in the country, thus enhancing the long term health of every community in the 32 counties and ensuring a healthier future for everyone.
Benefits and Opportunities for Clubs
Clubs who completed the pilot phases have been awarded and recognised as official “Healthy Clubs” which is completely ground breaking and the first of its kind in Ireland. Waterford IT’s Centre for Health Behavioural Research has endorsed the project’s positive impact on the health orientation and practice of participating clubs.
The following benefits and opportunities provides an evident based rationale on why clubs should get involved:
As with all new projects, the HCP is not without its challenges. Some of the challenges experienced by clubs included:
Even though clubs met and overcame challenges along the way the positive impact the HCP had on fully committed clubs was ground breaking.
The HCP was created in 2013 and has grown from the genesis of an idea for a small pilot into a programme heralded as an exemplar of the Healthy Ireland framework in action. It has also been recognised at European level as offering an exemplar framework for how to utilise the sports clubs setting for the delivery of health promotion (Sports Club for Health, 2016 https://www.scforh.info/).
The HCP has been rolled out in phased cycles (see Table below) to ensure that the model and resources are evaluated and fit for purpose. Further Phases will open on a cyclical basis and interested clubs will be invited to apply via the GAA’s Community and Health website.
Due to capacity Phase 3 will remain a controlled pilot with the aim to open up expressions of interest to all GAA clubs in Ireland in 2020 (Phase 4)
Phase 1– 2013 (Q1) – 2015 (Q3) 18 Clubs (16 completed) Covering 4 provinces
Phase 2– 2016 (Q1) – 2017 (Q3) 60 Clubs (58 completed) At least one club covering 32 counties
Phase 3– 2018 (Q1) – 2019 (Q3) 150 Clubs (at least 3 in each county)
Phase 4– 2020 (Q1 – 2021 (Q3) Aim: Open expressions of interest to all 1,600 GAA clubs (target an additional 150 clubs)