Ulster GAA provides health checks for referees

ULSTER GAA teamed up with partners, the Ulster Independent Clinic and Cathedral Eye Clinic, at the Tyrone GAA Centre in Garvaghey recently to provide its Provincial Referees Panel with comprehensive health checks for the season ahead.

The medical checks offered our football and hurling referees a valuable indication of their current health and provided information on how to maintain fitness and wellbeing, taking into account factors such as diet, exercise and hereditary health conditions

The team from the Ulster Independent Clinic provided electrocardiogram (ECG) tests, which were then read by a consultant, to screen for certain heart conditions, including abnormal heart rhythms and coronary heart disease. Testing was also conducted for other, key health indicators such as BMI, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Due to the importance of having optimal visual ability for referees, in-depth eye tests were also carried out by staff from Cathedral Eye Clinic. This testing included a diagnostic retinal analysis scan, using AI technology, to check for diseases of the eye such as Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration.

The referees also had their visual acuity, prescription, eye pressure and eye alignment checked by the optometrist and were given advice on how to look after their sight both on and off the pitch.

Highlighting the benefits of the event, Ulster GAA President Ciaran McLaughlin commented:

“The health and wellbeing of all our members is important and we continue to promote healthy living and lifestyles to our membership.

“The focus of our games is usually on our players, but just as our players require high levels of fitness, so too do our referees. The welfare of our match officials is extremely important and we are pleased to play a role in this vital area.

“This initiative provides our Provincial panel of referees, from all nine counties, the opportunity to receive a full health check at no charge to them. We are very proud of the fact that we are the only province to provide this service for our match officials and are delighted to have both the Ulster Independent Clinic and Cathedral Eye Clinic conducting these much-needed tests at the start of our busy games season.”

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