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 benefitting from the formal health and wellbeing 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 wellbeing 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.
A Healthy Club Officer does not have to have any medical qualifications, or experience working in the health sector. Rather the role requires people who are empathetic, are well organised and are good at reaching out to others to see what campaigns and support is already out there. The role does not mean having to take on to do lots more activities in the club. In fact, it is preferred that clubs take a modest and sensible approach to it. Whether as an official GAA Healthy Club or not, the work of the Healthy Club Officer is a much valued one.
Once appointed Healthy Club Officers should inform their County Health & Wellbeing Committees that they are now in the role. This will help to form networks, as County Health and Wellbeing Committees are linked into programmes from both National and Ulster GAA.
County Health & Wellbeing Committees can be contacted by emailing chair.hwc.[insert county name]@gaa.ie. For example: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 will once again be delivered online for 2023. A Healthy Club Workshop will be delivered online on Thursday, January 29 2023 at 7pm, via Microsoft Teams. The workshop must be pre-booked. Keep an eye out on https://ulster.gaa.ie/ and social media 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 & Wellbeing 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 on-going.
Ulster GAA programmes cover a range of topics, such as physical health, mental health, substance mis-use, 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 wellbeing, both in Ulster and nationally.
Ultimately in the role of Healthy Club Officer it is important to remember the extent of the position’s responsibility, which is to: Communicate, Support, and Signpost.
For more information vist: http://ulster.gaa.ie/health/.