New clubs encouraged to get involved as 2021 Healthy Clubs Conference (October 30) opens for registrations
Renowned psychologist Dr Tony Bates will be joined by Tyrone All Ireland winner Conor Meyler and host other GAA and Healthy Clubs Ambassadors to explore the conference theme: “5 Ways To Reach The well-being “
GAA’s role in providing meaningful connection, purpose and social cohesion after the pandemic will be among the themes explored at the GAA Healthy Club 2021 (virtual) conference on Saturday, October 30.
The free conference will use the “5 Ways to Achieve Wellness” evidence-based framework – Connect, Be Active, Learn, Keep Learning and Giving – to highlight the important contribution of healthy clubs to the well-being of their members and of their communities, and to explore how this can continue as the Healthy Club project grows into 2022.
The event also marks the opening of expressions of interest for new clubs to get involved in the Healthy Club project, with the GAA Community & Health department setting a target of 200 new clubs to join the nearly 300 next year. clubs already accredited as ‘Healthy Clubs’ officials. The Healthy Club Project is carried out in partnership with Irish Life (corporate social responsibility partners), Healthy Ireland, the HSE, the National Office for Suicide Prevention and the Tomar Trust. It aims to expand the positive influence of clubs as they expand their mandate from sports clubs to becoming health centers in their community.
Conference attendees will get an idea of what is required and available for a club that signs up to participate in the Healthy Club Project. They will also have the opportunity to learn about some of the new initiatives implemented by the Community and Health Department of GAA, including GAA Games for All (Diversity and Inclusion), Social Games (Recreational Gaelic Games), Green Clubs (Sustainability ) and youth leadership.
Guest speakers will include Dr Tony Bates, one of Ireland’s leading youth mental health advocates and authorities; All Ireland winner and GAA / GPA Player of the Month for September, Tyrone’s Conor Meyler; Julia White, six-time All Ireland winner; Cork U20 football manager Keith Ricken and Ulster wheelchair Camogie player and coach Geraldine Mc Garrigle. The workshops will also be facilitated by inspiring case studies of healthy clubs featuring examples of healthy clubs in action.
An Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, Larry McCarthy, said: “The success and growth of the Healthy Club Project is a testament to the power of volunteerism and the support of our partners. Its importance has never been so acute. I look forward to celebrating at the conference the success of our existing healthy clubs while encouraging other members to join us and be inspired to register their clubs for 2022. ”
Declan Bolger, CEO of Irish Life, said: “Over the past 18 months the volunteers and supporters of the GAA club have done an incredible job taking care of their communities and helping everyone stay active. The GAA Healthy Clubs program has been at the heart of this fantastic effort and we are delighted that the Irish Life MyLife app is part of this program. The MyLife app is a fun way for people to challenge themselves to improve their health and fitness. At Irish Life, we are proud to support this conference which will help Healthy Clubs succeed and grow in 2022 and beyond. “
Tom James, Head of Healthy Ireland, commented:
“One of Healthy Ireland’s key actions is empowering people and communities – this is at the heart of GAA’s Healthy Club project. The project offers communities the opportunity to connect and take care of their health and well-being. GAA clubs provide opportunities for members to develop their physical, social, emotional and psychological health.
After recent times, we particularly welcome the focus of the upcoming GAA Healthy Club conference on mental health and the theme of “5 Ways to Achieve Wellness” and we recognize members’ commitment to this important program. “