Sports

Rasharkin and Glenavy first Antrim ‘Healthy Clubs’

Thursday, 16 November 2017

A SPECIAL ceremony with governmental representation in Croke Park saw 58 GAA clubs recognised as the first official 'Healthy Clubs' on the island of Ireland.
Two Antrim GAA clubs, St Mary's GAC, Rasharkin and St Joseph's GAC, Glenavy can now proudly fly a flag above their grounds (endorsed by both Healthy Ireland and the Public Health Agency in NI), letting their members and communities know that they value health and wellbeing as much as leagues and championships.
In January 2016, almost 100 clubs applied to participate in Phase 2 of the project (just 16 participated in Phase 1 between 2013-2015).
Many cited the death of services in their communities that are tackling issues such as obesity, sedentary lifestyles, mental health and suicide. They wanted to be part of the solution.
Clubs engage with their members and community before identifying health themes upon which to focus on. Most common include healthy eating; physical activity for non-playing members; emotional wellbeing; engaging older members of the community; youth development; smoke free clubs; gambling, drug, and alcohol education; and inclusion and integration.
These two progressive GAA clubs are the first in Antrim to receive national recognition. Their various health and wellbeing initiatives have had a tremendous impact on their clubs and wider communities.
St Mary's GAC, Rasharkin have organised the 'Supporting Guide Dogs for the Blind' initiative over the last two years which involves a 55km walk from Rasharkin to the Giants Causeway in support of Guide Dogs for the Blind.
*Full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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