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Tyrone Team Leads By Example In “Off The Booze And On The Ball”
Twenty of Mickey Harte’s Tyrone football panel and eight of his backroom team have signed up for the GAA’s new health challenge ‘Off the Booze and On the Ball’.The health initiative with a twist challenges members of the Association to abstain from alcohol for the month of January to give their New Year a healthy kick-start. Those who take up the ‘Pint Sized Challenge’ can seek sponsorship on behalf of their GAA club or team and are also encouraged to engage in some activities during the month that helps them reach their recommended weekly activity levels.
‘Off the Booze and On the Ball’ is being driven by the GAA’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) Programme – a joint initiative with the HSE that aims to reduce the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol and other substances. The initiative had its local launch at the Tyrone County Convention on Sunday where club delegates were encouraged to promote the initiative amongst all their members – from players and supporters to mentors and administrators – by the National Coordinator of the ASAP programme Colin Regan and the Tyrone County ASAP Officer Cuthbert Donnelly.
Tyrone County Chairman Ciarán Mac Lochlainn also gave the board’s full backing to the initiative and encouraged clubs to take advantage of the fundraising and health promotion elements of the ‘Pint Sized Challenge’.
Individuals and full club panels can sign up for the ‘Pint Sized Challenge’ at www.gaa.ie/asap where they will receive a sponsorship card and an information pack containing details on health, exercise and diet. All participating clubs will be in with a chance of winning a training session with one of Ireland’s leading high performance coaches or one of the country’s leading sports nutritionists in 2012.
Clubs are also encouraged to run a health-related event on the last weekend of January to celebrate and promote the club in their local community.
“If a panel of 30 players takes on the challenge and raises £100 each that’s £3,000 for the team at the end of January, not to mention the health benefits they will have accrued,” Colin Regan said at the launch. “The information pack you receive is a great source of material regardless of your current activity level and will help us get the ASAP message out to our members,” he concluded.
Off the Booze & On the Ball, which is endorsed and supported by the GPA, fully supports the Ulster Council’s ‘Live to Play’ programme and participants are encouraged to make themselves available as a designated driver for friends or family during their month of abstinence.