O’Donovan Rossa GAC launched its Healthy Club Action Plan at Rossa Park on Saturday afternoon.
Players including Antrim hurler Gerard Walsh, Chairwoman Margaret Flynn, Health and Wellbeing Officer Naomhin Love and club members were in attendance at the launch that also included a no-smoking commitment in club grounds as Rossa announced their involvement in Phase Four of the GAA’s Healthy Club Project.
The Healthy Club project aims to help GAA clubs explore how they support the holistic health of their members and the communities they serve. GAA clubs already contribute to the health and wellbeing of their members by providing opportunities to develop their physical, social, emotional, and psychological health.
The project aims to help GAA clubs identify what they are already doing well, identify areas where they can or would like to improve, and empower them to ensure that everyone who engages with their club benefits from the experience in a health-enhancing way, be they players, officers, coaches, parents, supporters, or members of their local community.
The healthy club model, which is based on best national and international practice, also aims to embed a healthy philosophy in a club while integrating health into the day-to-day club activities in a sustainable way. It also aims to place the local GAA club at the heart of the community, making it a beacon for health in the locale.
“We are glad to take part in this process and have four members on the GAA’s Healthy Club committee, so now we are putting into practice all the things we have learnt,” said Chairperson Margaret Flynn.
“We are putting policies together that we will implement and are committed to promote mental health awareness. We have also committed to a no-smoking policy, so this is something to look forward to and over the winter, we will fine-tune it and roll it out throughout the club.”
In what has been a difficult year with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in people entering into lockdown that has been a struggle for some who have suffered from isolation, the Rossa Healthy Club launch couldn’t have come at a better time and the club is committed to helping its members through what could be a difficult winter ahead.
“Already there are signs that people are suffering from the lack of normality,” added the Rossa Chairwoman.
“We in Rossa consider ourselves to be a big family so we are going to look after all of our family members.
“We are going to check in with them, connect online or in whatever way we can so nobody feels isolated and there is always somebody to talk to, no matter what. Rossa is very good at looking after each other so it is important we continue to do that in a time of need.”
Rossa’s Health and Wellbeing Committee have embraced the GAA’s Healthy Club Project. They believe in embedding a healthy club culture that is inviting to all and promotes the daily integration of healthy behaviours into the running of the club.
They have identified three key areas for action (physical health, mental health and wellbeing, plus community development and inclusion) that emerged from a survey of club members, with the overall aim to ensure it is a welcoming club, promoting health and happiness in the community.
Also, they have committed to the GAA’s Smoke and Vape-Free policy that will protect all members and visitors to Rossa Park from the dangers of smoking and e-cigarettes, meaning there will be no smoking areas anywhere on club grounds.
“This is an amazing step forward for Rossa,” said Health and Wellbeing Officer, Naomhin Love.
“Our Healthy Club committee have been active for just over a year and we are now in Phase Four of the GAA’s Healthy Club Project.”Our aim is that Rossa is a welcoming club that promotes health and happiness in our community and the launch of our action plan is the first step in making that a reality.”