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Kinvara Off the Booze and Off the Fizz!!!

posted 31 Mar 2012, 13:31 by Unknown user
The Kinvara Club, Galway, has been selected as the Connacht provincial winners of the GAA's inaugural ‘Off the Booze and On the Ball' health challenge.

The four provincial winning clubs - Kinvara, Galway; Currin, Monaghan; Erin's Isle, Dublin; Midleton, Cork - were in Croke Park last Wednesday to celebrate their successful participation in the event and to receive details of their prize - a training session with a high performance coach or a sports nutritionist. All clubs that registered at were in with a chance of winning.

In the Kinvara Club, the U16 hurlers took the lead from their seniors who took up the ‘Pint Sized Challenge' and decided to go ‘Off the Fizz and On the Ball' by giving up sweet, fizzy drinks for the month in an effort to highlight good nutrition while also earning some valuable sponsorship. Their panel of 19 members, under the guidance of Juvenile Club Chairman Garret Byrne, raised €802.

Meanwhile, senior hurling manager, Ollie Bergin, noted the challenge was a great way for his panel to start a new season on a healthy footing while giving them something to work towards early in the year.

Invitted to Croke Park from Kinvara GAA were senior player Dara Smith, senior Manager Ollie Bergin, juvenile players Neil Huban, Dylan MacMahon, Conor Whelan, Liam Byrne, Daniel Burke, James O'Hara, Ollie Nilan, Shane Byrne, plus committee members Garret Byrne, Nicola Huban and Sandra MacMahon.

Colin Regan, National Coordinator of the ASAP programme, said: "Our aim with ‘Off the Booze and On the Ball' was to enhance the  health promotion our clubs already engage in week in week out while putting out a subtle message about the importance of looking at our alcohol intake as part of a holistic approach to health and well-being. The success of this inaugural campaign was largely due to the work of our 32 County ASAP Officers, the willingness of County Boards to push and promote it, and the enthusiasm with which clubs embraced it. We hope it will become a part of the annual GAA calendar and encourage more clubs to take up the challenge in 2013."

Over 250 clubs registered for the health challenge at  with an estimated 2,500 participants taking up the ‘Pint Sized Challenge' of abstaining from alcohol for the month of January. The challenge was designed to help GAA members' kick-start their New Year on a healthy footing. Participants were also encouraged to partake in enough exercise during the month to ensure they achieved their recommended weekly activity levels, while clubs were asked to celebrate the conclusion of the challenge by running a health-related event in their local community.

Members of the Association were issued the challenge by Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Criostóir Ó Cuana, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Róisín Shortall, at its launch in Croke Park in November 2012. The event was driven 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.