GAA Football

Irish News GAA Club Health and Well Being Initiative: Your health is your wealth

Launching the Irish News GAA Club Health and Well Being Initiative are (l-r): Irish News marketing manager, John Brolly; NI Chest Heart & Stroke deputy chief executive, Gareth McGleenon; Antrim and St Brigid’s GAC player Patrick Finnegan; Hannah Williamson from NI Chest Heart & Stroke; Irish New sports editor, Thomas Hawkins; and Connlaith Ní Raifeartaigh from Chest, Heart & Stroke 

THE Irish News is teaming up with Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS) for an important GAA Club Health and Well Being Initiative.

Five GAA clubs will be successful in the competition, and will receive the benefits of a range of health and well being workshops, which will be delivered by Chest, Heart & Stroke’s health promotion team and specifically tailored to various age ranges and needs.

For example, for the U12s, the NICHS team will deliver an hour-long fun and interactive session to educate them on the importance of healthy eating, exercise, and the risks of smoking, and they will also provide them with accompanying materials and take-home packs to share with parents and the family.

U21s – in a workshop named “Well Talks” – can take part in a one-hour interactive health and wellbeing session covering a range of topics including healthy eating, stress, alcohol consumption and smoking.

These talks can be designed and tailored by the club according to need or greatest concern for the young people.

Alternatively, NICHS’s stress management session can educate young members of the club to increase knowledge of stress and its impact on health and provide practical tools to manage personal stress levels.

A focus on self-care through improving sleep patterns, increasing knowledge of “good mood foods” and relaxation techniques will help young players and members cope with stress in a positive way, enabling them to become calmer, more focused and resilient.

For adults, there will be 25 comprehensive health checks delivered, which will measure cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, cholesterol and body composition.

These well checks will enable members to make manageable lifestyle changes to live longer, happier and healthier lives.

Individuals will receive an accompanying booklet to take home to help them continue to measure and assess their progress.

The five winning clubs will also receive a training pack from O’Neills of five training balls, a set of bibs and sports markers.

Across Northern Ireland there are currently over 335,000 people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions and almost 40 per cent of all adult deaths are directly related to one of these illnesses.

NICHS offers practical and emotional support to people living with these conditions, as well as to their families.

Deputy chief executive of NICHS Gareth McGleenon said the organisation was delighted to be joining forces with The Irish News. 

“Through this initiative we will be able to reach more families and support more communities with the aim of making all age groups aware of ways to improve their overall health and well being,” he said.

Irish News marketing manager, John Brolly highlighted another valuable aspect of the help offered by the NICHS teams.

“Health and well being is now a key focus for everyone as it is important that we all lead a happier and healthier lives,” he said.

“This is a great partnership for The Irish News to link up with Chest, Heart & Stroke as GAA clubs provide such a great outlet for people of all ages.

“I would encourage everyone to think about creating a health champion within their club in order to implement a strategy that makes positive changes for their community.”

Irish News sports editor Thomas Hawkins echoed those sentiments, and said: “This is an excellent initiative which everyone can identify with. The pace and stress of modern life is forever increasing. Any initiative that gives advice and guidance to encourage healthier living is hugely important.”

For more information and on how to enter the competition, visit


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