Home > ‘Opening gates, breaking stigmas’: an evaluation of the GAA Healthy Club Project.

Lane, Aoife and Donohoe, Alex and Murphy, Niamh (2015) ‘Opening gates, breaking stigmas’: an evaluation of the GAA Healthy Club Project. Waterford: Centre for Health Behaviour Research, WIT.

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The aim of the GAA Healthy Club Project (HCP) is, with the support of the HSE, to explore the potential of the GAA club as a setting in which to promote the health and wellbeing of club members and the wider community. Evaluation activity included pre and post engagement with participating clubs and communities, which included executive committee representatives, healthy club officers, club members, programme participants, and service providers. Main findings are presented below around the three main elements of the evaluation.

HCP Process:
• Participation in the HCP indicated the commitment of clubs to their community, while also helping them to remain relevant and competitive in evolving environments.
• Community links and partnerships with service providers were key factors in operationalizing the HCP in clubs while challenges included funding, and a lack of capacity to roll out the project.

Impact of the HCP:
• Over the duration of the project membership numbers increased while there were also improvements in scoring on the overall health promotion orientation of clubs, and specific domains related to club policy, practice and the environment.
• Club and community representatives remarked on the impact of participation in the HCP on the perception of the club, on attitudes to health, as well as on engagement with club activities and health behaviours. There was a firm acknowledgement of a place for health promotion in club activities at the end of the project.

HCP Initiatives:
• 72 initiatives were delivered across 7 target areas (physical activity, diet/nutrition, health awareness, emotional well-being, social inclusion, anti-bullying, smoking/alcohol and mostly delivered to the club and community. Ratings showed that almost 60% of the initiatives were deemed moderate impact, 36% low and the remaining 4% rated as high impact.
• Case studies of initiatives revealed a positive impact on behaviour, and on the perception of participants on the club, while also demonstrating the value of partnerships with public health service providers, such as the HSE.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
September 2015
50 p.
Centre for Health Behaviour Research, WIT
Place of Publication
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