Equipment for underage girls teams thanks to the €500 O'Neills voucher the club won as part of the Irish Life Steps Challenge last year.
The Healthy Club initiative was set up by the GAA a number of years ago with the aim to bring GAA clubs back to community clubs, for the health and wellbeing of our members and also the wider community.
Phase 4 of the GAA Healthy Club project started in February 2020 and Dromahair GAA club were lucky to have been selected to be part of this phase.
Tracey Kelly, Healthy Club Officer in St. Patrick’s Dromahair GAA Club explains they have a Healthy Club Team which is made up of representatives from St. Patrick’s Dromahair GAA Club, Naomh Padraig GAA Club and the wider community .
The team for 2021 is Tracey Kelly, Aoife McTernan, Seán Kelly, Ruairi Kelly, Michael Clancy and Cian Clinton.
Unfortunately, 2020 brought the Covid-19 pandemic but along with it, it brought the GAA club to the heart of the community both with our volunteers who are there to support vulnerable people in the community and also through many initiatives and challenges to keep people going while staying at home. Even though our games and training stopped, there was no reason why people can’t stay active and connected, while staying apart.
An example of some of the initiatives that took place in 2020 were the Irish Life Steps Challenge in June. For the month of June, the club who achieved the most averaged steps in each province would win a cash prize. We also encouraged people to do a marathon in a month as part of this challenge.
We were one of the clubs with the most participants with approximately 108 people signing up, which is a huge achievement for a small community and highlights the community spirit even during the pandemic.
We were lucky enough to win a €500 O'Neills voucher as part of this which we used to get equipment for our U9 and U11 teams and the U10 & U12 teams in the women’s club – these were handed over in December.
One of the initiatives for people to do in the safety of their own home was “We Remember”, which involved encouraging the community to have a look through old photos to reminisce of times gone by, stories and also remember those who are no longer with us. People were then encouraged to share these photos and stories with everyone through our social media pages.
The idea was highlighted by the GAA where Seán was interviewed for an article that was published in GAA.ie. As Seán says “I thought it would be a good way to get people engaged with each other again” and that it was. Some lovely memories were shared of times gone by!
Along with Dromahair Arts & Recreation Centre (DARC), we have organized the Dromahair Lights Up initiative. The flood lights in the park are being turned on for all in the community to use during the darker winter months (from 7pm to 9pm Monday to Friday) which started in November.
This initiative is possible thanks to the co-operation of a group of volunteers to turn on/off the lights each evening. This initiative has gone down really well with the community with many people using the walkway each evening.
Some of the main group of our community who has been harder impacted by the pandemic is the elderly who are residents in our local nursing home, St. Phelim’s. At Christmas, we organized the Remember This Christmas – Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot initiative, by organising a gift collection from those in the community who wish to contribute.
We wanted to try and make Christmas a bit brighter for the residents inviting all in the community to give a gift. We wanted to show the residents that even though due to the restrictions on visits etc., they are very much still part of our community and not forgotten.
The response was amazing and I’m sure the residents were delighted to receive their gifts at Christmas! Here is a photo of Sean and Tracey from the Healthy Club team delivering the gifts in time for Christmas.
Our club has a history of pulling together when tough times hit, and this year has been no different. The success of these initiatives is thanks to the support from our GAA club executive, club members, working in co-ordination with Naomh Padraig Ladies GAA club and the wider community.
Thank you to everyone for your support to date! We look forward to us all continuing to work together for our club and community.
If anyone would like to join in with the Healthy Club team or has any contributions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Healthy Club team.
To keep up to date on our Healthy Club initiatives and updates, keep an eye on the club notes and the Dromahair Healthy Clubs social media pages.