HEALTHY Club Officers and Health & Wellbeing Committees continue to perform an invaluable role in GAA clubs across the globe.
How fantastic it is that people from all walks of life across the world are benefiting from the formal health and well-being activity that has been organised by their GAA club?
Of course, we benefit from being involved in the GAA in more ways than just through formal health and well-being activity; and yet the benefits have grown exponentially since clubs have begun to appoint Healthy Club Officers, and their committees.
Most clubs now have an appointed Healthy Club Officer, and the importance of the role has been increasingly recognised. 2020 has been a year when we really were made to appreciate our health, and also how our health can benefit from the activities on offer from our GAA club.
Although many things in 2021 remain uncertain, it is important to prepare for what this year may bring as best as possible. Clubs should continue to appoint a Healthy Club Officer, and Health & Well-being committee to support this work.
Being involved in health and well-being does not mean having to take on and do lots more activities in the club.
In fact it is preferred that clubs take a modest and sensible approach to it, bearing in mind what Covid-19 may throw at us during the coming year. Although many of our normal activities may not be able to proceed as planned, 2020 has taught us that we can adapt very well. Health and well-being can continue in earnest despite Covid-19.
Once appointed, Healthy Club Officers should inform their County Health and Well-Being Committees that they are now in the role. This will help to form networks, as County Health and well-being Committees are linked into programmes from both National and Ulster GAA.
County Health & well-being Committees can be contacted by emailing chair.hwc.[insert county name]@gaa.ie. Failure to inform your County HWC that you are in the role will mean that you will miss out on important information.
Ulster GAA’s Officer Development programme has moved online for 2021. A Healthy Club Workshop will be delivered online on Thursday, January 21 at 7pm via Microsoft Teams. The workshop must be pre-booked. Keep an eye out on Ulster GAA website and social media for links to register.
Ulster GAA have a raft of programmes which clubs can use to implement well resourced, and well-supported programmes. It is hugely important to plan any activities which are due to take place.
Taking a yearly approach is sensible, with certain programmes being more relevant at particular times of the year. The four concepts of rolling-out any programme include:
The Club – establish the need within the club and what the benefits of any programme would bring to the club
Plan – using a year approach plan your club’s activities, based around what GAA activities normally take-place at various times of the year.
Partners – Link with your County Health and Well-being Committee, and Ulster GAA with your ideas about what needs to be done, as oftentimes there are already partnerships in place to deliver a sound programme.
Activity – work-out the logistics of the activities that can be delivered in your club which complement the day-to-day activities already ongoing.
Ulster GAA programmes cover a range of topics, such as physical health, mental health, substance misuse, screening, lifestyle, preparedness, and links with charities. Clubs are encouraged to use the microsite as a sound reference point about anything relating to health and well-being, both in Ulster and nationally. Ultimately the person who is in the role of Healthy Club Officer should remember the extent of the position’s responsibility, which is to: Communicate, Support, and Signpost.
For more information on the programmes/campaigns which are available visit the Ulster GAA Health and Well-being microsite at http://ulster.gaa.ie/health/.