The GAA have launched a new scheme at Croke Park today which they hope will see people ditch the drink and get fit this January.
The ‘Off the Booze and On the Ball’ drive invites participants to give up drink for the month of January and in conjunction looks for sponsorship to go towards their local GAA club.
GAA president Christy Cooney was on hand to launch the scheme, which is also been backed by The Association’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.
Speaking at the launch The President of the GAA said “January is a month of the year when the commencement of good habits comes into sharp focus and twinning a reduction in alcohol intake with increased physical activity makes perfect sense after the possible excesses of the festive season.
“This scheme also offers members the chance to generate funds for their local clubs through sponsorship so the benefits for those involved are plain for all to see.”
Also on hand at the launch was Minister of State at the Department of Health, Róisín Shortall who said “The history of the GAA, from a small organisation which grew from a meeting in a hotel in 1884 to the huge Association it now is with a presence in every community can be a metaphor for what we are launching here today.
“Everything begins with small steps and I am confident that this programme will find its way into every club, every community and every county in Ireland. Alcohol abuse presents one of the greatest challenges our country faces and I am delighted to see an organisation as renowned and respected as the GAA take a lead on this issue and I hope other sporting associations will adopt similar schemes”
People who would like to sign up for the scheme can do so by logging onto www.gaa.ie/asap