The Community & Health department is continually striving to ensure that it supports the growth and personal development of all GAA members and especially those interested in the sphere of health and wellbeing.
To this end, a variety of interesting and innovative training and educational programmes have been devised for members.
Healthy Club Officer (HCO) training
With all GAA clubs now recommended to have appoint a health and wellbeing officer, a two-hour training module has been developed to support those taking up or interested in supporting the role. Developed in consultation with both the National Health & Wellbeing Committee and representatives of the HSE’s health promotion department and the PHA, the content covers topics including the holistic nature of health, up-to-date national health statistics and what this means your GAA club, and how your club can become more health-enhancing. It takes participants through the four building blocks of a ‘Healthy Club’ – Plan, Partners, Activities, The Club – to help ensure any work undertaken by clubs follows good practise, is sustainable, and achieves desired goals.
The training is highly interactive and discussion based and rolled out by trained GAA health and wellbeing tutors through the auspices of your local County Health & Wellbeing Committee.
Participants receive individual participant booklets, a certificate of completion, while each club represented also receives a Club Health & Wellbeing manual, filled with useful resources and case-studies.
The Dermot Earley Youth Leadership initiative*
The Dermot Earley Youth Leadership initiative involves an exciting partnership with NUIG and Fóroige, and aims to make available to young GAA members (15-18 years old) an evidence-based, accredited programme that stimulates and enhances their leadership qualities through active learning.
Developed to honour the ideals and memory of Dermot Earley Snr, one of the GAA’s and the nation’s greatest leaders, participants who complete all three modules receive a FETAC Level 6 certificate from NUIG for their efforts. GAA tutors in participating counties are also recruited to guide the young people on their values-based journey of learning and achievement. Tutors receive valuable facilitation training from both NUIG and Foróige before embarking on their own journey in rolling out the programme in their county. For more details click on the Dermot Earley Youth Leadership initiative TAB above.
SAOR training arms recipients with the skills necessary to carry out a Brief Intervention (BI). A BI is any intervention that involves the minimum amount of time to support a change in a particular type of behaviour.
The SAOR model was devised by two addiction treatment professionals Jim O’Shea and Paul Goff, both whom are lifelong GAA members. In it, SAOR, the Irish word for “free”, is used as an acronym to assist people in remembering the four key components of a brief intervention.
While the SAOR model has been specially designed to guide GAA coaches or other GAA officers through a short, supportive, structured conversation with a player/member that may be engaging in harmful alcohol or drug use, the communication and listening skills outlined in this booklet can be useful in other situations, such as a player presenting with issues relating to problem gambling. Click on the SAOR TAB above for more details).