Health and Wellbeing Conference takes place

Cork GAA Health and Wellbeing Committee held its first conference in SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Diarmuid Lester of the County Health & Wellbeing Committee, of UCC and Bishopstown, acted as Chairperson. 

The event was opened jointly by the Chairperson of Cork GAA Health&Wellbeing Committee Eoghan O’Connor and National Chairperson Janas Harrington (St.Finbarrs). 

Brid O’Dwyer Croke Park, Valerie Kirby Blarney Healthy Club, Claire Harrington St.Finbarrs Healthy Club, and Irene Murphy Bandon Healthy Club took part in a panel discussion. They shared inspiring stories of the activities of their club’s Healthy Club. Claire spoke as a founding club in 2013, Valerie on interaction with the local community and Irene outlined the Dermott Earley Leadership Programme. The discussion provided an opportunity for all present to learn about the activities of Healthy Clubs.

Professor Louise Crowley, UCC, and Bishopstown Healthy Club outlined the Bystander Intervention Programme. She explained the rationale behind the programme and how it empowers participants to better understand their role as pro-social bystanders. 

Our third presentation was on the topic  ‘GAA for All’. Diarmuid Lester hosted a discussion between Alan Craughwell of Mixed Ability Sports Ireland, Mairead Beausang of Midleton All Stars, Gerry McNamara Munster Wheelchair Hurling and Clonakilty’s Sinead Crowley on how to create a more inclusive and accessible environment sporting environment for people with additional needs as well as for mixed ability participants. 

Keith Ricken held an engaging one-on-one conversation with former Cork camogie player and professional soccer player Clare Shine. In the conversation, they discussed Clare’s career, from training/playing with fourteen different teams from Soccer to Camogie and Ladies Football. Clare outlined the challenges of having to choose between her sports and events from attending Irish soccer camp and getting permission to leave an international camp to play in an All-Ireland Senior Camogie final all in the same weekend.  She further outlined her journey into professional soccer, and the impact it had on her life. She told how alcohol and substance misuse affected her playing career and her personal life. In an insightful conversation, Clare shared how she successfully navigated difficult times and how she reached her own personal goals.

Cork Chairman Marc Sheehan brought the event to a close as he recognised the success of the event. He especially acknowledged the contributions of both Professor Louise Crowley and special guest Clare Shine.