Successful Applicants for GAA Walking Tracks Initiative Announced
Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton, and the President of the GAA (Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael) Larry McCarthy have welcomed the announcement of the successful applicants for the GAA Walking Tracks initiative.
This once-off €815,000 funding provided by Healthy Ireland is designed to make community walking tracks located on GAA grounds more accessible to more people.
Minister Naughton said, “I am delighted to welcome the announcement of the successful clubs for this very worthwhile initiative. Healthy Ireland has been a long-standing partner of the Irish Life GAA Healthy Club Project and supporter of the GAA’s efforts to transform clubs into hubs for health in their communities, all of which makes a significant contribution to the Healthy Ireland agenda.”
“GAA clubs have opened their doors to their local communities in recent years, particularly under the “Ireland Lights Up” initiative. They play an invaluable role in fostering social connections and by expanding access to their facilities they are helping to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone who uses them. I’d like to commend the clubs for their wonderful contribution to their communities and I want to thank the GAA for the significant work involved in the process.”
In partnership with Healthy Ireland, funding of €815,000 was made available through a competitive application process to affiliated GAA, Camogie and LGFA clubs in the 26 counties to upgrade existing walking tracks situated on club grounds.
Almost 340 applications were received and following a comprehensive evaluation process by a selection committee, 54 clubs across 26 counties were successful.
GAA president Larry McCarthy said, “the GAA is at the heart of every community it serves, and this funding from Healthy Ireland enables clubs to expand their impact by improving their walking infrastructure, creating safe and inclusive spaces for people of all ages and mobilities.”
“By delivering upgrades such as lighting and improved surfaces, our clubs are helping to empower people to stay active all year round. The exceptionally high number of applications illustrates the public demand for these amenities, in particular in rural areas where access to safe spaces for walking can be limited.”
Head of Healthy Ireland Tom James said, “we value our strong partnership with the GAA and wholeheartedly support their commitment to communities in an inclusive manner that goes far beyond sport. Initiatives such as this have immediate, tangible benefits for people of all ages by providing a safe environment for physical activity, particularly for people who may not be able to access other exercise amenities. It’s a wonderful example of the Healthy Ireland principles in action, as it’s empowering people and communities to better look after their own health and wellbeing.”