Healthy Club Case study- Healthy Eating
|Club||Killeagh GAA, Killeagh-Ita’s Juvenile GAA, Killeagh Camogie and Inch Rovers Ladies Football Clubs|
|Codes||Hurling, Camogie, Football, Ladies Football|
Supporting Document: GAA Healthy Eating Guidelines
Four different clubs use the facilities of Killeagh GAA Club (Páirc Uí Chinnéide) on a weekly basis, Killeagh GAA, Killeagh-Ita’s Juvenile GAA, Killeagh Camogie and Inch Rovers Ladies Football Clubs. It is a hive of activity, particularly on week nights from March to October. Users range in age from 2 (the youngest Nursery participants on Saturday mornings) to 80 plus. Each of the four clubs are always consciously trying to recruit more members – playing and non-playing – to strengthen their club by playing their part in a variety of ways. Collectively, there was a sense that while relations are amicable and positive between all four clubs, perhaps more could be done to work together on a combined initiative that would engage current club members and would entice other members of our community to get involved also. The GAA’s Healthy Club Project (HCP) was the ideal mechanism to help create such a community-wide initiative in Killeagh with the aim of maximising participation and benefit for the greatest numbers of our community. A Healthy Club project group with members from all clubs was created with the responsibility of promoting a healthier club.
Promoting and encouraging healthy eating was first initiative that the group decided to focus on. They adopted the GAA’s Healthy Eating Guidelines and continue to make great progress raising awareness and promoting healthy eating through a range of healthy eating demonstrations, workshops and talks.
Within the club: Club Executive of all four clubs. A Club Health and Wellbeing Officer was appointed in each club who formed Killeagh’s Healthy Club Project group.
Outside the club: Local supplier and supermarkets, Cúl Camps, Local secondary school & Home Economics teacher, Cork GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee,
The Monster Blitzes (Under 8s and Under 10s) on a Saturday morning, where up to 40 teams can participate, were targeted first. The biscuits and usual rubbish were replaced with fruit and water and surprisingly the children bought in on the idea and begun requesting the fruit first. In addition, 220 boys and girls (Under 6 to Under 13) enjoyed the healthier options at the club’s Cúl Camp in the summer.
The Healthy Club project team wanted to reach teenage players as they felt this age group would benefit from education on healthy eating, especially at such a crucial time in their lives, when they are leaving home and starting out in college. The club signed up to the GAA’s Recipes for Success programme, a practical and educational nutritional workshop aimed at enhancing performance. This was carried out in the local secondary school and facilitated by the Home Economics teacher. Twelve teenagers attended the practical workshop and learned how to make easy performance enhancing meals and snacks. The participants really enjoyed the session and were delighted to receive the Recipes for Success booklet which contains several delicious recipes with pre/post match day meal plans - Recipe here. Due to the success of this session the club have arranged subsequent events with the Home Economics teacher and cemented a good partnership.
The club also organised a Healthy Food Demonstration and Workshop which was open to all in the community and approximately 80 people attended. It consisted of 5 different food stations manned by volunteers from the club, providing samples of food from the Recipes for Success booklet, as well as porridge, fruit, smoothies, tray bakes, hummus, etc. The club also plan to incorporate this type of demonstration into their Family Fun Day during the summer. Organisers of ongoing activities in the club (club meetings, Féile days, Parish Leagues, AGMs, etc.) were also encouraged to introduce fruit and water either as the exclusive food source or an alternative to the usual tea / coffee / cakes / snacks throughout the year with little objection.
The healthy eating initiative has impacted on the entire club and beyond juveniles, to minor squads and even the wider community. Due to Killeagh’s emphasis on healthy eating and the provision of healthier options for players and visitors, more people are using Páirc Uí Chinnéide. Visiting parents have commented at the underage blitzes that all clubs should be doing this (providing fruit) and they would be returning to their own club asking them to do the same for their events. Club Health and Wellbeing Officer, Coleman Motherway says that