As Ireland’s largest sporting and community organisation, the GAA has always held a pivotal role in promoting health and wellbeing among members and players. In this context the launch, within Kilmacud Crokes, of the GAA Mental Health Charter (March 2015) is “aimed at promoting mental health for all our members and the wider community in which we are situated. The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. philosophy stipulates that everyone will be treated with respect and they will participate, enjoy and contribute to our Club without prejudice, discrimination or any other negative consequences for them or others”
‘Crokes Talks’ brings the GAA Mental Health Charter to life in Kilmacud Crokes, both within the club and across the wider community. It is a club wide initiative that aims to work collaboratively across club and community to support wellbeing by focusing on our physical and mental health. Wellbeing is associated with one’s ability to live in a productive and self-fulfilling manner and to have the resilience to cope effectively when faced with the challenges and stressors that are part of everyday life - in many ways like the core values of the GAA itself. In Kilmacud Crokes, the promotion of mental, as well as, physical wellbeing is at the heart of where we want to take our club over the next 3-5 years and beyond and we see it as an intrinsic part of the future success of the club. Crokes Talks aims to span across all sectors of the club from the youngest nursery members, through to the youth and adult sections of the club as well as past members who continue to support the essence of Kilmacud Crokes throughout the community. Having surveyed our membership we will build on what they have said they value and focus on support, awareness, openness, learning and support.
What our members told us:
As a first step in Crokes Talks, a club wide survey was carried out online in June 2015 to find out more from our members about life in Kilmacud Crokes. There were over 470 responses (approximately 30% of the total adult membership) to the survey and they represented all sections of the club and all mixes of members (coaches, players, parents and club contributors).
Results of the survey highlighted the members’ view that the lifeblood of the club is inherently human, with a sense of camaraderie identified as being the most important attraction of being part of Kilmacud Crokes. Members clearly put friendship and personal support at the heart of the club - when it was selected as the most enjoyable aspect of being involved in Kilmacud Crokes.
“Kilmacud Crokes has been a second home to our four children”
“A good sense of belonging and togetherness”
“Lots of people helping each other and kids asking for nothing in return”
Members value the human element of the club - the opportunity to build friendships, access a support system and learn from and be mentored by other club members
“You know we look after each other where we can”
“Reliable community always eager to help during tough periods of one’s life”
“Make friends with other coaches/parents…deepens my connection with community”
Members recognise the opportunity to establish life skills and lessons as an intrinsic part of being a member
“Enjoy my children taking part and learning new skills and a positive ethos”
“Personally rewarding to help kids develop their skills, characters and personalities”
“Culture of club…fosters mutual respect…striving for excellence but not measuring the child by results only”
Members appreciate the escape and relaxation that is enabled by being part of the club
“It's a chance to let off steam”
“Playing makes my soul lift out of my body”
“Facilitates release of pent up energy created by stress of work and life in general”
The findings of this survey have informed the overall strategy of Crokes Talks, which is outlined as follows.
- Support Social Interaction across the entire club building on the “Crokes Recalls” initiative.
- Encourage physical activity for all of our members building on “Couch to 5k” initiative.
- Promote learning, positivity, awareness and support through continued engagement with specialised facilitators. The holding of relevant workshops and similar activities designed to
Download the Community Development in the GAA HERE community_development.pdf
Download Survey highlights HERE poster2_crokes.pdf