KIlmacud Crokes Gets Healthy Club Award

Kilmacud Crokes Club Wellbeing Officer Kevin Mulligan receiving the GAA healthy club award at Croke Park today on behalf of Crokes. Crokes are among the first 60 clubs in the country to be recognised by the GAA as for their commitment to the GAA healthy club programme.  Well done to Kevin for his leadership in this regard and for all the club members who have been involved in the Healthy Club program activities in Kilmacud Crokes since we started our efforts under the banner of CrokesTalks.   Watch out for future comms on the KickStart Crokes 2018 activity aswell as the launch of a Sports Inclusion program in the club.

Full Press Release From Event :

Press Release


Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club amongst the first to receive official GAA Healthy Club national recognition

  • The award winning Healthy Clubs Project (HCP) aims to turn clubs into hubs for health in their communities

  • With almost the same number of GAA clubs as GPs across Ireland, the project offers a new setting in which to deliver health promotion and interventions[i]

  • Leading GAA ambassador Seán Cavanagh strongly commends the club for their leadership

A special ceremony in Croke Park on 4th November saw 58 GAA clubs recognised as the first official ‘Healthy Clubs’ on the island of Ireland.

Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club  can now proudly fly the Healthy Club flag above Pairc de Burca in Stillorgan letting members and the community of Kilmacud / Stillorgan and surrounds know that the emphasis the club places on the health and wellbeing of all members, players and non-players, as well as the wider community.

In January 2016, almost 100 clubs applied to participate in Phase 2 of the GAA Healthy Club project (just 16 participated in Phase 1 between 2013-2015). Many cited the dearth 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.

Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club is among the first in Dublin to receive national recognition. The club’s various health and wellbeing initiatives have had a tremendous impact on the club and wider community. The Club has sought to broaden the dimension of the club in the area of health and wellbeing by running a number of initiatives under the ‘Crokes Talks’ banner, including a six week Stress Control Course, jointly run by Kilmacud Crokes and the HSE Dublin South Psychology services. The programme was devised to help the large number of people that experience stress and stress related reactions and who are keen to learn how to tackle their problems themselves.

The Club is also about to launch its 2018 Kickstart Kilmacud Crokes programme. That programme will involve members in activities from Couch to 5 K walking and running, couch to 50K cycling, yoga, pilates and a wide range of activities in the early months on 2018. This is the third year of that programme which has involved hundreds of people from all over the Kilmacud, Stillorgan and surrounding areas.

Former Tyrone football captain Seán Cavanagh is a big supporter of the GAA’s Healthy Club Project (HCP) and presented the clubs with their official flag and plaque in Croke Park on Saturday, November 4th. He said “I’ve seen myself how the GAA brings communities together in so many different ways so it’s fantastic to see the association taking a leadership role in developing healthier communities. The Healthy Clubs around the country are having a positive impact on so many children and young people and as a parent I think it is fantastic. Through this project I think people will start to appreciate the role of the GAA in our communities even more.”

The innovative Healthy Club model, supported by Irish Life, was developed in partnership with Healthy Ireland (the HSE’s health promotion division) and the National Office for Suicide Prevention. The Healthy Club Project aims to harness the potential of GAA clubs to deliver evidence-based health promotion information and interventions, backed up by appropriate policies and partnerships. Its potential to be replicated by other sports is currently being explored by a working group involving the FAI, IRFU, and Athletics Ireland.

Similar work is being undertaken across European sports associations, and for the past three years the GAA has contributed its learnings to the EU-wide Sports Clubs for Health project. This culminated with the GAA’s Community & Health manager, Colin Regan, presenting on the Healthy Club project to a sub-committee of the EU Parliament in Brussels in April.

The Healthy Clubs project is being independently evaluated by a team from Waterford IT’s Centre for Health Behaviour Research. While the final report into Phase 2 won’t be available until December, the research team have already noted significant successes.

Speaking at the recognition event in Croke Park Aogán Ó Fearghail, Uachtarán, Cumann Luthchleas Gael said, “The 58 Healthy Clubs recognised today have gone above and beyond what is normally expected of a sports club. Health and wellbeing is core to what the GAA is all about and these clubs help bring that to life. I’d like to thank our partners, Healthy Ireland, the HSE, National Office for Suicide Prevention, the Public Health Agency, and Irish Life, for helping to make the Healthy Club project the success it is. We look forward to growing it from strength to strength.”

Catherine Byrne, Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Department of Health said, "Today is all about recognition for the clubs and the volunteers who make this happen at club level. I would like to congratulate all of the clubs and volunteers involved and acknowledge the contribution that they are all making to bring the vision for Healthy Ireland to life: where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential"

David Harney, CEO, Irish Life said, “Irish Life are delighted to work with the GAA on the Healthy Club initiative. The GAA, reaches into every community on the island of Ireland, and has a significant role to play in the health of the nation through its promotion of Gaelic Games. The association’s Healthy Club initiative brings a new dimension to this work. It enables people to access health in an exciting new way. We believe this work has the potential to improve the future health of communities across the country.”

The GAA hope to extend the project to 150 clubs in Phase 3 (with expressions of interest to open in early 2018) before opening the project to all interested clubs in 2020. There are 1,600 clubs in Ireland and over 400 abroad.

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[i] Health Service Executive - - Last Accessed October 2017