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UCC become first third-level GAA Healthy Club
By John Harrington
UCC GAA Club this week became the first third-level institution to join the GAA Healthy Club family and have immediately put their best foot forward.
Theyve partnered with the Universitys Bystander Intervention Programme to offer club members training that will give them a greater understanding of the key issues related to consent and the boundaries surrounding sexual assault, rape, and abusive relationships as well as empower them to help those in need by developing key intervention skills.
The Bystander Programme has been developed by UCC School of Law Professor Louise Crowley and well be the first GAA club to pilot it and we hope to work then with the Cork Health and Wellbeing Committee to involve more Cork clubs, says Jim McEvoy of UCC GAA and the Cork GAA Health and Wellbeing Committee.
It's a very good programme and were delighted too that UCC GAA has become the first third-level Institute to join the GAA Healthy Club family because its a great wing of the GAA to be involved in.
It was a big day for us because in UCC we signed up to a charter for a healthy campus only a few weeks ago so it ties in nicely with that.
Janas Harrington, National Chairperson of the GAA's Health & Wellbeing committee, speaking at the launch of the UCC GAA Healthy Club.
McEvoy has also done great work with his home club Blarneys Healthy Club Committee and has seen at first hand how the Healthy Club Project has had a hugely positive impact on the Association in a short period of time.
It's unbelievable, it's the best thing ever, he says. You're attracting more people into your club and it's not all about hurling, football, ladies football, and camogie. For us in UCC we're helping students in lots of ways.
They can get cardiac screening, we're doing mental health awareness programmes with them, alcohol and substance abuse programmes. Gambling is a big issue too in third level and you're signposting resources that help. We want our members not to just want to improve whatever sport they play, but to improve their lives off the pitch as well.
What all that does is show that the GAA club isn't all just about winning Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cups, you're bringing other members in as well.
And in UCC GAA we work under the One Club model which is a great thing as well in how it brings Ladies Football and Camogie into the wider family.
There's over 1,000 members in our club in UCC. You're catering for everyone from inter-county players to junior club players. Then with the Healthy Club you're bringing in another cohort who might not play Gaelic games at all. Our committee is made up of eight students and four of them don't play the games, but they're very interested in the GAA which is great.
For us it's a good way of reaching out to our international students as well and showing them that, yes, we're a sporting organisation, but this is what we also do.
And what it does for us also is that now we're working with the other societies and the student union a lot more on the different campaigns they have which is good as well.
Go HERE for more information on the Bystander Intervention Programme.