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Gaelic Athletic Association. [GAA] GAA launch exciting new health initiative. (22 Nov 2011)

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The GAA issued an exciting new health challenge to its members at the launch of ‘Off the Booze and On the Ball’ in Croke Park on Tuesday, November 22.

This fun challenge with a healthy twist invites participants to abstain from alcohol for the month of January and in doing so seek sponsorship to go towards their local GAA club. Participants are also encouraged to engage in some new exercises that help them reach their recommended weekly activity levels during the month, and hopefully throughout 2012.

The challenge was extended personally by Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Criostóir Ó Cuana, who launched the event with Minister of State at the Department of Health, Róisín Shortall. The initiative is being driven by the Association’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) Programme – a joint initiative with the HSE that aims to reduce the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol and other substances.

“January is a month of the year when the commencement of good habits comes into sharp focus and twinning a reduction in alcohol intake with increased physical activity makes perfect sense after the possible excesses of the festive season,” said the President of the GAA. “This scheme also offers members the chance to generate funds for their local clubs through sponsorship so the benefits for those involved are plain for all to see.”

Minister Shortall added “The history of the GAA, from a small organisation which grew from a meeting in a hotel in 1884 to the huge Association it now is with a presence in every community can be a metaphor for what we are launching here today. Everything begins with small steps and I am confident that this programme will find its way into every club, every community and every county in Ireland. Alcohol abuse presents one of the greatest challenges our country faces and I am delighted to see an organisation as renowned and respected as the GAA take a lead on this issue and I hope other sporting associations will adopt similar schemes”.


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