Gearing Up to be Green – Focus on St. Finian’s
St Finian’s GAA club in Swords, Co. Dublin, is one of the 45 clubs from across the island of Ireland participating in the GAA’s new Green Clubs programme. St Finian’s, along with Tralee Parnells from Kerry, Kildavin Clonegal in Carlow, Kilbeacanty in Galway and a south Dublin club, Kilmacud Crokes, is among the five clubs in the Green Club Transport Group working with expert partners from the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Road Safety Authority (RSA) to develop a Green Club Toolkit for Transport & Travel.
St Finian’s are already leading the way in encouraging club members to choose more sustainable transport options and to help the club’s younger players stay safe when walking or cycling to matches and training. In August of this year, the club hosted the launch of the “Gearing Up for Training” initiative, a partnership between Fingal County Council Road Safety Section and the Irish Centre for Cycling that provides training for safe cycling to GAA clubs in Fingal.
The “Gearing up for Training” initiative is designed to provide professional theory and practical cycle training to GAA clubs by the Cycle Right-approved Irish Centre for Cycling. This training will provide children with the necessary skills, road safety awareness and confidence to cycle to their clubhouse for training and home games, creating a healthier, more sustainable method of transport, while freeing up car parking spaces at the club for travelling teams on match days.
The commitment to promoting sustainable transport options is just one element of St. Finian’s Green Club approach. The club has developed its own Sustainability Plan – ‘Caring for our Players and our Planet’ – and the recent ‘Boot the Bottle’ campaign scored its first victory when single-use plastic bottles were phased out of all St. Finian’s Nursery and Academy sessions.