What is the Green Club Programme?
The Green Club Programme is a partnership between the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association and local authorities across Ireland.
This partnership has its origins in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Champions Programme launched by the Department of Communication, Climate Action, and Environment in September 2019. Both the GAA and Carlow County Council were among the twelve inaugural SDG Champions and initial informal discussions led to the establishment in January 2020 of an official Green Club partnership between the County and City Management Association (CCMA) and the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association.
The Green Club Steering Group, which includes representatives of local authority Climate Action Regional Offices (CARO) and of the three main Gaelic Games organisations as well as club delegates, met for the first time in February 2020. In March a Green Club questionnaire was issued with the dual purpose of gathering volunteer sentiment on the sustainability challenges and opportunities in Gaelic Games clubs and of inviting expressions of interest in participation in Phase 1 of the Green Club programme.
What are the next steps for the Green Club Programme?
Phase 1 of the Green Club Pilot Programme will commence in November 2020 and will feature approximately 45 clubs – big and small, rural and urban – from across the four provinces plus a small selection of county and provincial venues. Phase 1, which is modelled on and run in collaboration with the GAA’s Healthy Club Project, will run for twelve months with the objective of developing a Green Club Toolkit to be shared, further tested, and refined as the programme expands beyond the initial phase. All resources, case studies, and learning developed throughout the pilot programme will be made freely available to all Gaelic Games units.
What is meant by a Green Club Toolkit?
The Green Clubs Pilot Programme is structured around five main thematic areas:
- Travel & Transport
A sub-group of the Green Club Steering Group has been set up to cover each thematic area, composed of a CARO representative, a Gaelic Games representative and an expert partner, and will include club representatives from both pilot and mentor clubs once the pilot phase is launched. The sub-groups are working on the Toolkit development for each thematic area and are committed the principles of education, engagement and guidance in a club-led approach.
An All-Island Approach
The Green Clubs Programme is an all-island programme. In addition to the local authorities in the 26 counties already mentioned, the Green Club Working Group is collaborating with Derry City & Strabane District Council, Sustainable NI, Ulster GAA and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in the planning and administration of the Green Club pilot in the six-counties, to include a cross-border project that will be consistent with the objectives and approach of the multi-agency North West Climate Action Plan, currently under development.
The Gaelic Games Associations are founded on the principles of respect and community – a respect not only for each other but also for the land on which we live; a community defined not only by its individuals but also by its links to place, to heritage and to the natural and built environment. Our associations, our clubs and our grounds are run by and for a membership that is engaged, diverse, curious and committed.
The GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association are committed to providing through the Green Club programme the leadership, education and guidance to transform the commitment and passion of individuals into a national programme with the potential for powerful behavioural, material and infrastructural change. The programme will help clubs to identify and implement simple measures to protect our natural heritage and secure a sustainable future for our local communities.
The Green Club Programme provides a coherence between the national and local in the development of a community-based programme that is not only consistent with but that will also advance the objectives and principles set at governmental, European and UN levels.
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