The Sheppard family from Clontarf GAA during the Launch of Ireland Lights Up 2022 in partnership with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking at Croke Park in Dublin.
The Sheppard family from Clontarf GAA during the Launch of Ireland Lights Up 2022 in partnership with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking at Croke Park in Dublin. 

Clubs encouraged to register for ‘Ireland Lights Up’


‘Ireland Lights Up’ – the country’s biggest community walking initiative – returns to GAA clubs in January 2023 in partnership with RTE’s Operation Transformation and the support of Get Ireland Walking.

The initiative encourages GAA clubs across the 32 counties to light up their walking tracks and bring communities together to walk and talk in a safe environment during the dark winter evenings. As ever, a club participating in Ireland Lights Up will be showcased each week on RTE’s Operation Transformation.

In 2022, a record 700 GAA clubs signed up for Ireland Lights Up helping tens of thousands of participants to get more physically active. Clubs also recruited over 28,000 walkers to participate in the ‘Every Steps Counts Challenge’ delivered through the ‘MyLife’ app, in partnership with the Irish Life GAA Healthy Clubs programme. Participants walked over 5,000,000 kms during the five-week challenge. Once again, three clubs from each province will win gear vouchers worth a total of €5,000, kindly provided by Irish Life (T&Cs apply).

Registrations for the 2023 ‘Ireland Lights Up’ and ‘Every Step Counts’ MyLife Challenge open today. Click HERE to register. (Both activities commence on Wednesday, January 11th, to coincide with the broadcast of the second episode of Operation Transformation on RTE.

Uachtarán CLG, Larry McCarthy, said: “The GAA is delighted to see Ireland Lights Up return in 2023 in partnership with RTE’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking. It is one of our most popular initiatives and it opens our clubs to the communities that support them throughout the year.

“We are also delighted to be again teaming up with Irish Life to deliver another Healthy Clubs Steps Challenge as part of ILU 2023. The use of the MyLife App enables participants to track their individual steps and health benefits, while also potentially winning some valuable prizes for their clubs.”

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Larry McCarthy, centre, with head of Healthy Ireland Tom James and Communications Officer of Get Ireland Walking Linda Sankey during the Launch of Ireland Lights Up 2022 in partnership with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking at Croke Park in Dublin. 
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Larry McCarthy, centre, with head of Healthy Ireland Tom James and Communications Officer of Get Ireland Walking Linda Sankey during the Launch of Ireland Lights Up 2022 in partnership with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking at Croke Park in Dublin. 

Declan Bolger, Irish Life CEO said: “We are proud to support the ‘Ireland Lights Up’ campaign with the ‘Every Step Counts’ Challenge hosted on our MyLife app. Earlier this year, 28,600 people tracked a phenomenal 5.2 million kilometres in support of their club and community. We are looking forward to beating that distance in January!

"At Irish Life, we recognise the importance of supporting people to take care of their physical health and mental wellbeing, we are delighted to partner with Irish Life GAA Healthy Clubs on such a successful initiative.”

Get Ireland Walking’s Programme Manager, Jason King, said: “Our vision as an organisation is to empower and support people to choose to walk more often as part of recreation, transport, and health as part of their everyday lives. We know walking works. We are delighted to partner again with the GAA and Operation Transformation in supporting clubs and communities across Ireland to walk together in a safe environment and increase the numbers of participants this year.”

To register your club for Ireland Light Up and the MyLife Healthy Clubs Steps Challenge, use the following link: Ireland Lights Up Club Registration (office.com)

Clubs that complete the registration process for Ireland Lights Up and adhere to the necessary criteria will be covered by Get Ireland Walking's insurance for all walk leaders.
Clubs that complete the registration process for Ireland Lights Up and adhere to the necessary criteria will be covered by Get Ireland Walking's insurance for all walk leaders.

‘Ireland Lights Up’ Additional Info for Clubs:

· Ireland Lights Up will run from January 11, 2023, for seven weeks. Participating clubs are asked to host a community walk at least once per week, and more often should demand and capacity allow.

· Clubs that complete the registration process for Ireland Lights Up and adhere to the necessary criteria will be covered by Get Ireland Walking's insurance for all walk leaders. Irrespective of GAA membership status, leaders and participants are not covered by the GAA Injury Benefit Fund for this initiative. Review the full Terms & Conditions of participation: www.getirelandwalking.ie/irelandlightsup

· To put an accurate figure on the number of walkers that participate in Ireland Lights Up in 2023, clubs will be incentivised to report their participant numbers weekly. Those that do so will access a small grant to offset their lighting costs (thanks to support from Healthy Ireland and Sport Ireland). They will also be considered as host club for the launch of Ireland Lights Up 2024 (which involves a visit from RTE’s Operation Transformation cameras to capture footage for the 2024 show). Further details on the grant and how to register participant numbers will be forwarded to all clubs that register.

‘Every Step Counts Challenge’ Additional Info for Clubs:

· The challenge will commence on the MyLife App on January 11th and run for five weeks until midnight on the 15th of February. Participating clubs will be encouraged to register as many interested club and community members on the App in advance of this. (If already on the MyLife App from previous Steps Challenges, they will have to register for the new challenge on the App.)

· MyLife allows participants and clubs to track their participation in the challenge through regional and national league tables while also measuring the positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

· Clubs whose registered participants walk a collective 4,000 kilometers will be entered into a draw for prizes worth €5,000 across each province. Full details on the ‘Every Step Counts Challenges’ and prizes can be found here.

· All GAA clubs can get involved in the Steps Challenge (irrespective of having a walking track facility) and are automatically registered when they register for ‘Ireland Lights Up’. Participation in the challenge is, of course, at a club’s discretion. Please direct any club queries to stephen.quinn@gaa.ie