Healthy club officers and health and wellness committees continue to play an invaluable role in GAA clubs around the world. How fantastic that people from all walks of life around the world are benefiting from the formal health and wellness activity organized by their GAA club!
Of course, we benefit from more than just formal health and wellness activities from our involvement in GAA; and yet the profits have grown exponentially since clubs began appointing healthy club officers and their committees.
Most clubs now have a healthy club manager appointed, and the importance of this role is increasingly recognized. A healthy club manager does not need to have medical qualifications or work experience in the healthcare industry. Rather, the role requires people who are empathetic, well-organized and able to reach out to others to see what campaigns and supports already exist. The role does not mean having to take on many other activities in the club. In fact, it’s best for clubs to take a modest and reasonable approach, keeping in mind what Covid-19 may throw at us over the coming year. While many of our normal activities may not go as planned, the past two years have taught us that we can adapt very well. Health and wellness can continue in earnest despite Covid-19.
Once appointed, health club managers should inform their county health and wellness committees that they now hold this position. This will help form networks, as the County Health and Welfare Committees are linked to the National GAA and Ulster programs. County health and wellness committees can be contacted by emailing chair.hwc.[insert county name]@ gaa.ie. For example: [email protected] If you don’t let your county HWC know that you are in this position, you will be missing out on important information.
The Ulster GAA Officer Development Program will again be offered online for 2022. A Healthy Club workshop will be offered online on Tuesday January 18, 2022 at 7:00 p.m., via Microsoft Teams. The workshop must be booked in advance. Keep an eye on the Ulster GAA website and social media for links to register. www. https: ulster.gaa.ie.
Formal training for the healthy club manager role will be delivered through the National GAA and details will be shared by your county health and wellness committee in the coming weeks. MUlster GAA has a series of programs that clubs can use to implement well-funded and well-supported programs. It is extremely important to plan all the activities that need to take place. Taking an annual approach makes sense, as some programs are more relevant at particular times of the year. The four deployment concepts of any program include:
The club – establish the need within the club and what the benefits of any program would bring to the club.
Plan – Using an annual approach, plan your club’s activities, building on GAA activities that normally take place at different times of the year.
Partners – Connect with your county health and wellness committee and Ulster GAA with your ideas on what needs to be done, as there are often already partnerships in place to deliver a strong program.
Activity – determine the logistics of activities that can be organized in your club that complement the daily activities already underway.
Ulster GAA programs cover a range of topics, such as physical health, mental health, substance abuse, testing, lifestyle, preparedness, and links with charities. Clubs are encouraged to use the microsite as a solid point of reference on all matters relating to health and wellness, both in Ulster and nationally.
Ultimately, in the role of a Healthy Club Officer, it is important to remember the scope of the job’s responsibility, which is to: Communicate, support and report.
For more information on the program campaigns available, visit the Ulster GAA Health and Wellbeing microsite which was upgraded in 2021. Visit: http: ulster.gaa.iehealth.