Healthy Club Conference 2019 ready to Light Ireland Up
The GAA Healthy Club Conference in Croke Park on October 5th will include amongst its workshops an exploration of why the ‘Ireland Lights Up’ walking initiative has turned into one of the GAA’s most successful health campaigns. (REGISTER HERE)
Almost 65,000 people across 270 clubs benefitted from the additional physical activity they logged over the five weeks of campaign in January/February 2019 while walking around their floodlit local GAA club. However, it was the fun and conversations with their club mates and neighbours that kept them coming back for more.
Delivered in partnership with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking (GIW), Ireland Lights Up is designed to make exercise more accessible to people on the dark winter nights of the new year.
Mullingar Shamrocks, one of 84 GAA clubs that will receive official recognition as a ‘Healthy Club’ on October 5th took part in the initiative. Their Healthy Club Officer Joan Crawford Ormsby said:
“Each week our participant numbers continued to grow with young and old alike walking and talking together. Members of local organisations such as Active Retirement and the ICA also took part and realised that our GAA club was open and welcoming to everyone. Our oldest participant informed us that she was 83-years young! Families enjoyed participating in Ireland Lights Up as it was a safe, enclosed and looped the walking track where all ages and abilities could take part.
“Our membership grew as a result and some people have continued the weekly walks since January! I would like to thank Westmeath Sports Partnership and Sarah McCormack HSE Healthy Ireland National Programme Lead for their support in making the initiative a success. I would encourage all clubs to attend the Healthy Club Conference on October 5th and find out how you can get involved in Ireland Lights Up in 2020.”
Get Ireland Walking’s Jason King will facilitate the ‘Ireland Lights Up’ conference workshop which will explore why walking is the perfect entry exercise for anyone that wants to increase their physical activity levels and improve their mood.
Other workshops at this year’s conference will explore mental health, positive aging, and diversity and inclusion. All will include case studies from GAA clubs as well as information from experts in their field.