Movember teams up with the GAA and GPA

MOVEMBER TEAMS UP WITH THE GAA AND GPA TO LAUNCH ‘MOVEMBER AHEAD OF THE GAME’ CAMPAIGN

LEADING men’s health organisation, Movember, has partnered with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) Movember Ahead of the Game, their evidence-based emotional literacy programme designed for delivery in a sports club setting.

The initiative will enable young players, their parents, and coaches, to better understand mental health, build mental fitness, and strengthen resilience to deal with challenges in sport and life through a series of interactive workshops, delivered by the members of the GPA (all of whom are present or past inter-county players). Phase 1 will run from November 2023-May 2024 with a target of engaging 10,000 participants in 200 GAA clubs across the 32 counties of Ireland. To learn more about the program visit: https://aheadofthegame.uk/

75% of mental health disorders will have emerged before the age of 24. That’s why conversations about mental health and fitness earlier in life are important. Helping young people build the skills to look after their own wellbeing, and support their teammates, is critical to lifelong mental resilience and mentally fit communities.

Movember Ahead of the Game teaches an understanding of mental health and helps build the mental fitness to deal with the challenges life and sport can throw. The GAA joins the ranks of leading global professional codes like the AFL and Rugby League in making Movember Ahead of the Game available to their clubs and members. It puts the GAA and the GPA among the sporting leaders globally in actively supporting mental fitness as much as physical performance.

22 current and past players recruited by the GPA have recently undertaken a weeklong rigorous training program led by Rugby League Cares and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health). Some of the names include Anton Tohill, Derry footballer; Martin Stackpoole, Kerry hurler; Saoirse McCarthy, Cork camogie All-Star winner; and Iggy Clarke, former All Ireland hurling winner with Galway. The interactive workshops are delivered in the familiar surroundings of a sports clubs, which allow players to feel comfortable to talk freely. It also gives coaches and parents bigger roles, too, in helping create mentally fit communities.

92% of young athletes have said they felt more confident in recognising the signs of mental health in themselves and others, and 96% of coaches have said they felt better able to respond to the mental challenges of young athletes after attending the Movember Ahead of the Game programme.

Colin Regan, GAA Community & Health Manager said: “We receive frequent request from clubs for emotional literacy content for younger members, so we are thrilled to work with organisations of the calibre of Movember and the GPA to make available this impactful, evidence-based content to our unrivalled club network.”

Sarah Ouellette, Country Director, Movember: “On the last day of Movember we are delighted to share this timely announcement of such an important partnership. A reminder locally, of the impact donations from our Mo Community has in every county across Ireland.”

GPA CEO Tom Parsons said; “Our motto is You See Players. We See People. We work with GPA members to allow them to be the best they can be both on and off the field of play. This includes offering them support in the area of mental fitness. We have counselling support lines at their disposal 24/7/365 while, in times of crisis, we support those in need with residential care. This support involves us being reactive while Ahead Of The Game allows us to be more proactive and have a positive impact on the lives of young people before the need for such supports might arise. It also recognises the influence our members have in their communities as role models who Is want to give back and who are looked up to by young people across the country.”

Please see full list of GAA facilitators below:

MAOTG Facilitators
Name County Province Gender Code/GAA Role
Julia White (PM) Cork Munster Female Camogie player
Niamh Hanniffy Galway Connacht Female Camogie player
Adrian Phillips Mayo Connacht Male Hurler
Iggy Clarke Galway Connacht Male Former hurler/therapist
Corey Scahill Mayo Connacht Male Hurler
Mickey Quinn Longford Leinster Male Longford footballer/PE teacher
Enda Macken Longford Leinster Male Footballer
Ryan Jones Westmeath Leinster Male GAA Coach
Jo-Hanna Quinn (nee Maher) Westmeath Leinster Female Footballer
Damien Sheridan Meath Leinster Male Games promotion officer
Muireann Scally Westmeath Leinster Female Footballer
Mary-Kate Lynch Meath Leinster Female GAA player
Carol O’Leary Clare Munster Female Camogie player
Conor Bohan Kerry Munster Male Hurler
Martin Stackpoole Kerry Munster Male Hurler
Saoirse McCarthy Cork Munster Female Camogie player
Liam Brady Cavan Ulster Male Cavan Minor Coach/Psych student
Domhnall Nugent Antrim Ulster Male Antrim Hurler/Podcast host
Oisin MacManus Down Ulster Male Hurler/sports psych student
Paddy Burke Antrim Ulster Male Hurler/Masters Performance Coach
Thomasina Cassidy Derry Ulster Female Footballer
Anton Tohill Derry Ulster Male Footballer

 

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