Em­mets and An­nacurra are ‘Healthy Clubs’

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

AN­NACURRA GAA Club and Bray Em­mets are among 58 clubs recog­nised as the first ‘Healthy Clubs’ in Ire­land.

Mem­bers of both clubs at­tended a spe­cial cer­e­mony which took place last Tues­day in Croke Par,

Twenty Le­in­ster clubs, in­clud­ing the two Wicklow clubs, can now proudly fly a flag above their grounds en­dorsed by both Healthy Ire­land and the Pub­lic Health Agency.

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.

In Jan­uary of last year close to 100 clubs ap­plied to par­tic­i­pate in Phase 2 of the project, with just 16 par­tic­i­pat­ing in Phase 1 be­tween 2013 and 2015. Many cited the dearth of ser­vices in their com­mu­ni­ties that are tack­ling is­sues such as obe­sity, seden­tary life­styles, men­tal health and sui­cide.

Bray Em­mets have em­barked on var­i­ous health and well­be­ing ini­tia­tives, such as their ‘Get fit with BE FIT’ ini­tia­tive’ and the club’s re­sponse to Op­er­a­tion Trans­for­ma­tion. Or­gan­ised by PJ Cun­ning­ham, ‘Be FIT’ takes place two evenings each week with the op­tion of a walk or run in the sur­round­ing Wicklow Moun­tains on Sun­day morn­ings. The pro­gramme runs over three, ten week terms and reg­u­larly fin­ishes with a spon­sored 5 km run or walk around the club’s Slí na Slainte or lo­cal Shangan­nagh Park. BE FIT caters for all lev­els of fit­ness and pro­vides a va­ri­ety of classes rang­ing from Fartlek and Box­er­cise to Pi­lates and Yoga.

As part of the Healthy Club Project An­nacurra GAA Club or­gan­ised a six week cir­cuit train­ing pro­gramme for peo­ple who are no longer play­ing team sports in the club. The club pro­moted it to mem­bers of the pub­lic who are over the age of 40, with the aim of in­creas­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lev­els amongst this group.

In ad­di­tion, the club wanted to pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive so­cial out­let through ex­er­cise for this au­di­ence, to boost in­te­gra­tion amongst mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who may have no con­nec­tion with the club or pre­vi­ous links through their play­ing ca­reer.

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.

Wicklow rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Paul Sweeney, Bray Em­mets GAA, left, and De­clan Byrne, An­nacurra GAA, with their Of­fi­cial Healthy Club Awards along­side Seán Ca­vanagh.

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