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10th Jul 2024

GAA team up with Movember ahead of All-Ireland semi-final to highlight men’s mental health

Simon Kelly

Movember GAA initiative

Workshops and initiatives have been in progress across Ireland since last year.

The GAA have announced they are teaming up with men’s health organisation Movember, as well as the Gaelic Player’s Association (GPA) ahead of this weekend’s All-Ireland semi final for a new fan zone initiative to highlight men’s mental health.

The initiative also aims to highlight that the weight of any one death by suicide may impact up to 135 people.

On Sunday, July 14, as Donegal take on Galway, Movember will unveil a fan zone in Croke Park to make fans aware of the power of talking and sharing.

The partnership was officially announced in November last year and since then, the Movember ‘Ahead of the Game’ initiative has been used in 176 clubs across Ireland.

At least one club in every county has received a workshop – delivered by members of the GPA – in how to build mental fitness and strengthen resilience to deal with challenges in sport and life.

The initiative has engaged 2,729 young male and female members, as well as 1,863 parents and club coaches.

GAA team up with Movember ahead of All-Ireland semi-final to highlight men’s mental health

President of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Jarlath Burns said: “Today provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our valued partnership with Movember and the GPA and the positive impact that our delivery of Movember Ahead of the Game is already having in communities across the 32 counties.

“The response of our clubs to this emotional literacy programme is a testament to our volunteers’ and the GAA’s desire to develop people and not just players. 

“This partnership and Movember’s considerable investment is adding even further value to the Irish Life GAA Healthy Clubs programme, which an independent 2023 evaluation demonstrated is delivering €50m worth of savings p.a. to the Irish health sector.

“I am excited to see where our continued collaboration with Movember brings us over the next four years.”

Sarah Ouellette, Country Director, Movember, added: ‘In just seven months, we have seen the impact that Movember Ahead of the Game has had on over 5,000 people in 176 clubs by the end of June.

“This year’s campaign really hits home how important this initiative is, as the weight of any one death by suicide is carried by 135 people.

“We are the leading global charity changing the face of men’s health and we exist to stop men dying too young by tackling some of the most complex health issues facing men today including mental health.

“What started as a single-minded fundraising and awareness campaign in 2003 has evolved into a multi faceted health organisation, and we are delighted to work with the GAA and GPA to reach people across the 32 counties of Ireland to support them on their journey through sport and life.”

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