On these dull and wet January days there have been a sea of people in their blue Naomh Gall jackets covering the pavements and hills of Belfast, all counting their steps in aid of the Every Steps Counts Challenge, an All Ireland event running for GAA clubs. The aim is for each GAA club to accumulate at least 4000km while walking, between 13th Jan and 3rd March, to be entered into a prize draw.
Naomh Gall Health and Wellbeing officer Rosemarie O’Rawe, swiftly signed the club up for the initiative, and its members have been pounding the streets ever since, come rain, hail or snow!!! They have engaged so well with the challenge that the West Belfast club has already surpassed the 4000km target set, currently lying 9th place out of 204 teams entered into the challenge from Ulster, and are leading the way as the highest ranking club in Antrim. January is a tough month at the best of times but given the challenging environment we are currently living in, the initiative has given the club and its members something to focus on, something to bring members together for the one cause, even though physically we can’t be together – virtually we are all doing our part to help the club succeed.
There’s stiff competition even among all the 108 Naomh Gall club members taking part, as they can all see who has covered the most miles, so everyone is putting in the distances to try and beat their friends, it has definitely generated a lot of banter and craic. With restrictions still in place in regard to training and matches and no sign of them being lifted anytime soon, this initiative has encouraged members to increase their physical activity in other ways – simply walking.
Naomh Gall as a club, place great importance on staying connected with their members and looking after their mental health, so being involved in this challenge has certainly given them plenty of opportunity to do that!