Irish Life Healthy Club Conference to celebrate 10 years of programme:
The Irish Life GAA Healthy Club Conference 2023, taking place on Saturday, November 18th in Croke Park, will celebrate the impact of this pioneering programme as it marks its 10th anniversary.
Back in 2013 just 16 clubs, four from each province, set off on a journey to demonstrate and learn how they could best support the health and wellbeing of their members and communities. 450 clubs across the 32 counties, including a small number of international clubs, have since been engaged in the programme delivering hundreds of initiatives to tens of thousands of participants.
This year’s free conference will feature insights and success stories from clubs that have been part of the Healthy Clubs programme since its inception, along with contributions from some very special guests (who will be revealed closer to the date). Using finding from a recently completed independent evaluation of the programme, the event will also celebrate the transformational impact that Healthy Club volunteers have had on their communities and the GAA itself.
In 2022-23 alone, Healthy Clubs delivered 2,389 number of initiatives reaching 184,598 participants, many of whom never had any prior connection to their local GAA club. In Autumn of this year, 378 clubs received Heathy Club Accreditation, ranging from Foundation level through to Silver and Gold depending on each club’s capacity to deliver.
This level of growth and impact could not have been achieved without the long-term support of our title sponsors, Irish Life, with further support from the Tomar Trust, the HSE, the National Office for Suicide Prevention, and Healthy Ireland.
An Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, Larry McCarthy, said:
“The GAA is synonymous with Games, but we are ultimately about People. Our clubs are dedicated to the communities we serve in Ireland and throughout the world and our clubs offer a support structure that goes way beyond the games that we promote on the field.
“The GAA acknowledges the standards of excellence in this work done away from the pitch through our Irish Life GAA Healthy Club Programme. The scale of the impact achieved by these Healthy Clubs and by our members and volunteers over the last 10 years is incredible and has a value that is arguably greater than any cup or medal because we are measuring the positive impact on lives. I commend all of those who have dedicated themselves to this great success story and thank you on behalf of the Association.”
Declan Bolger, CEO, Irish Life said:
Irish Life is extremely proud to be celebrating 10 years of partnership with the GAA for the Irish Life GAA Healthy Clubs, and in particular the incredible efforts of the Healthy Clubs officers who do so much on behalf of their clubs and communities.
The Irish Life GAA Healthy Clubs programme has been hugely successful in creating awareness, support and opportunities for communities across Ireland to improve their health and wellbeing. Not only are there now 450 clubs engaged in the overall programme, but over 800 clubs took part in the 2023 Irish Life GAA Healthy Clubs Steps Challenge. Tens of thousands of people took part in the Steps Challenge, which had a measurably positive impact overall on their health and connection with their community. So we’re delighted to announce that we’ll launching a special 2024 Steps Challenge at the upcoming conference to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Irish Life GAA Healthy Clubs and the amazing impact delivered by this pioneering programme.“
Matthew Doyle, Head of Healthy Ireland, commented:
The Irish Life GAA Healthy Club Programme is unique to Ireland, and with the GAA at the heart of every community, it is ideally placed to transform clubs into hubs for health and wellbeing.
Embracing the 32 counties, almost 450 clubs are involved in the project. This shows what is possible working on an all-island basis with our partners, including the GAA, the HSE, our health colleagues in Northern Ireland, and Irish Life.
Recent initiatives have included funding for the upgrade of walking tracks at over 100 clubs across the country, together with funding for smoke and vape free signage to support the expansion of smoke-free clubs.
The free conference, which draws 400 delegates annually, is a highlight in the Gaelic Games events calendar.
Registration for the Irish Life GAA Healthy Club Conference on Saturday November 18th is now open to all GAA clubs through the following link: https://forms.office.com/e/y3fJthnMiT
For more information regarding the Healthy Club Project please visit https://www.gaa.ie/my-gaa/community-and-health/