Category Archives: Blog


Sugar the focus of St Nailes Kinawley’s Health Day

The impact of sugar on our health and wellbeing has been very well documented recently and it was the focus of the recent health day in St Nailes Kinawley.

The primary schools pupils developed a wall display illustrating the sugar content in some of our favourite beverages!

A very powerful piece of work and one likely to make a lasting impression on all who see it.

St Nailes Kinawley


Clubs awarded with Club Maith Certificates


Ulster President Martin McAviney presented recently accredited clubs with their Club Maith certificates at a recent event in Ceannaras Uladh, Armagh.

Receiving their certificates are representatives from Augher St Macartans (Co. Tyrone), St Marys Burren (Co. Down), St Peters Warrenpoint (Co. Down), Tullylish (Co. Down), and St Treas Ballymaguigan (Co. Derry).

Martin congratulated the clubs for their efforts in “raising the standards within their clubs to a level of excellence”, and spoke of the importance of highlighting clubs in this way in order to encourage other clubs to also become accredited.

Clubs wishing to become involved in Club Maith should visit the Club Maith website on for all the information they need to begin the process.


Tyrone Christmas Activity Days


Tyrone Key Stage 1 Coaches recently ran a number of Successful Christmas Activity Days to help enter the children and Teachers of Tyrone into the Christmas spirit.

The days were ran in five locations throughout Tyrone, namely Sacred Heart College Omagh, Holy Cross School Strabane, St Ciarans College Ballygawley, Trillick Leisure Centre and Torrent Leisure Centre Donaghmore. The days were a great success and catered for over 630 children over the different areas.

At each venue the children took part in Christmas themed stations such as Snowmen Dodge, Christmas Shopping, Christmas puzzles and present pile up. While doing the stations the children were able to listen along to their favourite Christmas song which helped them know when to start and finish their station. Each of the stations were fun but also helped practice the skills they had been learning in our PE lessons.

These days were able to be a success as we enlisted the help of GCSE Students at the Secondary School venues and P5, 6 and 7 pupils from St Scires Trillick and St Patricks Donaghmore at the Leisure Centre venues. This helped give the Primary school pupils some responsibility but also some valuable experience for the Secondary School pupils as they go forward in their chosen path of sport.

At each venue we invited Local photographers to come along and help highlight the great work being done in their local area through the KS1 Curriculum Sports Programme.


Christmas Fun Days in Co Down Schools


Over 700 children from schools across Co. Down participated in Christmas Fun Days as part of the Curriculum Sports Programme.

To the tune of some suitably festive music, the children from St Patricks PS, St Ronans PS and St Claires Abbey PS in Newry as well as St Marys PS in Killyleagh had the opportunity to enjoy some special Christmas themed activities working on some of their Fundamental Movement Skills.

For some of the Primary 4 children it was the culmination of a homework project whereby they had to design their own activity using some of the fundamentals equipment frequently used in PE. Indeed, some of these activities made it into our fun days.

Both the children and teachers enjoyed the events and it was an ideal way to get into the Christmas spirit with fabulous sportsmanship on display. A huge thank you to the children who took part and the teachers and schools for making the events possible.


GAAStore PPS Ulster Schools All Star Team 2016


Ulster Ladies Gaelic have announced the 2016 GAAStore PPS Ulster Schools All Star Team.

This year we had 110 nominations for our All Star Trials and following Round One 60 girls were invited back for a second trial which took place on Wednesday 18 November. We were treated to some fantastic football, in terrible conditions, in which all girls that attended must be commended. We pick girls who played well on the day and feel it is a fair reflection and a fair system for all girls that trialed. Even though the football was excellent to watch it made the job of selecting the team very difficult, and the selection committee deliberated for 3 hours afterwards to finally agree on the 2016 GAA Store Ulster Schools All Star Team.

Below is the full list of 25 who made the final All Star team:

Caoimhe Meeke – St. Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt
Emma King – St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook
Michaela Morris – Loreto College Omagh
Orla Maguire – Our Lady’s Castleblayney
Niamh Coleman – St Ronan’s Lurgan
Slaine McCarroll – St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley
Cailin McCann – St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley
Muireann Atkinson – Our Lady’s Castleblayney
Aoife Laverty – Thornhill College, Derry
Blaithin Mackin – St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook
Hannah Doherty – St. Patrick’s Academy Lisburn
Eimear McAnespie – St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley
Rosemary Courtney – Castleblayney College
Dearbhla Coleman – St. Ronan’s College
Ella Durkan – Aquinas Grammar, Belfast
Amy Wharton – Loreto College Cavan
Aoibhinn Henderson – St. Ronan’s College
Orlaith Prenter – St. Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt
Aiobhinn McHugh – Loreto College Omagh
Eva Woods – St. Louis Secondary School, Carrickmacross
Caoileann Conway – Loreto College Omagh
Celine Nally – Our Lady’s Castleblayney
Sinead Donnelly – St Joseph’s Grammar School Donaghmore
Eimear Finnegan – Our Lady’s Castleblayney
Sinead Hanna – St. Patricks Academy Dungannon


Ulster GAA invests in Wheelchair Hurling initiative


Ulster GAA recently purchased a number of sports wheelchairs to assist the development of the Wheelchair Hurling initiative.

There are currently four training hubs in Belfast, Craigavon, Enniskillen & Derry. The Ulster inter-provincial wheelchair hurling team, recently crowned 2015 National League champions, is made up of players selected from these hubs.

From Monday 7th December to Friday 11th December Ulster GAA Active club coordinators will be delivering a wheelchair hurling road-show around a number of secondary schools across the province to allow able bodied participants the opportunity to try out the game and experience sport in a wheelchair.

Some of the schools include, St Marys Clady, St Aidans Derrylin, Holy Family Cootehill, St Catherines Armagh, St Pauls Bessbrook, St Malachys Belfast and Aquinas Belfast.

The road-show leads up to the All-Ireland Championship event that will be held on Saturday 12th December at IT Blanchardstown where the Ulster squad will compete.

For more information on the Ulster GAA Wheelchair Hurling initiative, contact Shane McCann (


GAA units support Anti-Bullying Week


Ulster GAA, Ulster Camogie and Ulster Ladies Gaelic in conjunction with The Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), called on all units of the Association to take part in Anti-Bullying Week between 16th and 22nd November 2015. This year’s theme for the campaign was “What Bullying Means to Me” which looks at the definition of bullying, helping us to understand it as a ‘repeated use of power, intentionally to harm, hurt and adversely affect the rights and needs of another or others.’

The GAA Tackling Bullying Programme is a resource developed by the GAA to provide assistance at club level in dealing with incidents of Bullying. It consists of a two-hour training workshop suitable for Coaches, Parents, Players and other Club personnel and also includes a range of publicity materials for Clubs. It is a fantastic resource available to all clubs, and during the workshop, participants will be equipped with tools that will enable them to identify, prevent and resolve incidents of Bullying that may occur in their clubs. Bullying is an issue that causes many problems within our clubs and communities, and we encourage all clubs to formally adopt the Anti Bullying Policy at Club Executive, and to help create a culture within the association where this type of behavior is not acceptable, and is regarded as serious breaches of the Code of Behaviour and shall be dealt with accordingly.

<strong>Cyber Bullying</strong> – This is bullying behaviour that takes place via mobile phone or through the internet via email/instant messaging/social networking sites/Texts/messages or images that are sent or posted on sites, which hurt, intimidate or embarrass another person. Cyber Bullying is no different from any other forms of bullying in that the behaviour is the same and the impact no less devastating, and therefore incidents of cyber bullying should be treated as though they happened in real time.

If you are aware of someone being cyberbullied, please consider the following:
• Listen and learn about what has been going on, for how long, where it has been taking place and what exactly has been happening. If you are not their parent/guardian ensure you make them aware of the situation.
• Suggest that they do not open messages from the addresses/numbers but allow you/parent/guardian to open them instead.
• Consider changing their mobile number and restrict access to the number.
• Changing online profile log in and passwords, and using the ‘reporting’ feature that is available on most social media sites asking for offending messages and photos to be removed. Ensure that online profiles are made private and only shared with friends. Restrict what can be posted to your profile until after you have given permission.
• Involve other agencies if necessary, including PSNI/Childline or NSPCC.
• Support the young person, your initial reaction is vital – Listen, Learn, Involve and Resolve.

<strong>Our Games – Our Code</strong>, the Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport for the GAA includes the Anti- Bullying Policy, which aims to adopt a whole organisational approach to addressing bullying and provides advice and support to clubs in the area of Safeguarding. We remind all clubs to implement the Code of Behaviour with all relevant personnel in your club including players/coaches/committee members/parents/referees and supporters at the start of each season. It is also appropriate at this time of year to remind you to make sure that all those working with children and young people in your club have been appropriately trained and adequately vetted prior to commencing work in the club.

For more information or to organise a workshop in your area or club, please contact (028) 3752 1900 /

This campaign was very successfully implemented across Ulster, with Counties, Clubs and members getting behind and supporting Anti-Bullying week. We thank you for your continued work and support in this area and encourage you to keep the Anti-Bullying message going throughout the year.


Sigerson’s Health and Wellbeing Committee support Anti-bullying month


To coincide with National Anti-bullying month, Strabane Sigerson’s Health and Wellbeing Committee initiated a poster competition in the local primary schools. Children were asked to create a poster explaining what bullying means to them.

Sigerson’s GAA aim to create a supportive environment where any form of bullying is unacceptable, both on and off the field. Children are encouraged to report bullying behaviour straight away to coaches or club officers and they know that it will be dealt with immediately and in the appropriate manner.

Claire McCool Sigerson’s Children’s Officer and a member of the Clubs Health and Well-Being Committee commented “This competition gave local children the platform to explore their thoughts and feelings about bullying. Their drawings gave information on all types of physical, mental and emotional bullying and some children drew pictures about cyber-bullying via mobile phones and social media. Although there could only be four winners of the competition, all the children should be very proud of their efforts. We want children to feel that they can take part and play games safely and without any fear of being bullied.”

Health and wellbeing committees have been established in all 32 counties and Strabane’s Ciaran McLaughlin is the National Health and Well-Being Committee Chairman. Ciaran stated “Health and wellbeing is core GAA business. We are a sporting organisation and we are about bringing young men and young women right through from a very tender age and looking after them.”

Ciaran continued “We are a huge organisation and there is a responsibility on us to look after our members in terms of mental health, physical health and general wellbeing. It doesn’t mean we have to be experts on all these things, but it is a case of signposting and letting people know where they can get the help they might need. It is important to stress that the GAA is not a service provider. Sigerson’s wanted their young members to know that they can take part and play games safely in the GAA, we think that message was delivered through this competition”

Congratulations to everyone who entered the competition and of course to our winners Erin Porter, Ciara Mary Brown, Tresa Nic an Chrosair and Alex Kerlin.




Tyrone Health & Wellbeing Information Night a huge success


Health and Wellbeing was the dominant theme at a highly successful information evening for Tyrone clubs at Garvaghey.

Twelve agencies showcased their services during the event, which was organised by the Tyrone GAA Health and Wellbeing Committee.

Twenty-two clubs were represented, and all those in attendance were unanimous in their opinion that this was a very useful, informative and enlightening seminar.
Representatives from all of the agencies spoke with club delegates, who in turn inter-acted and discussed many possibilities for their respective clubs and communities.

The foyer was buzzing with activity as delegates visited the various stands and desks, chatting informally with professional personnel and picking up information literature.

In the auditorium, each organisation delivered a ‘speed-intro’, providing the audience with details of their work and how to contact them.
Four clubs officers volunteered to share their experience and outline the programmes they have organised in their own clubs and communities during the past year.

Sinead from Trillick outlined the work the club has done with the local community to secure funding for a community defib, in addition to the one in the club.
They have also addressed Bullying in a very proactive way, and worked at promoting positive mental health among members.

Killyman have engaged with older members of the community through ceili groups and other social groups, as explained by John.

They have also worked with non-players to encourage physical activity through cycles, yoga and walk groups, as well as maintain and update First Aid kits and difibs for the club.

Brenda from Glenelly described the club’s co-operation with neighbouring clubs to organise cardiac screening. They have worked with farm families and received health checks, as well as inter-acting with mental health charities to raise money and promote positive mental and emotional wellbeing.

Finally Beragh official Patsy explained how the club has been very busy with organising their own health fair’s linking with local services, as well as working at addressing social isolation.

They have also completed and are continuing to look at screening in their local community and encouraging people to get themselves screened for heart/artery issues. They have also worked on suicide prevention awareness and achieved financial investment for a new walkway.

“It really was unbelievable the amount of work that these clubs have done and the impact it has had, and this was just four clubs,” said Tyrone Health and Wellbeing Committee chair Fiona Teague.

“The event at Garvaghey was an outstanding success. We had about 22 clubs represented, which is the best attended event we have organised to date.”
She added: “At the beginning of this year, club officers were asked to put in place one programme/intervention in their clubs. However, feedback has shown that they have exceeded this.

“We are now looking forward to 2016 and continually working with club officers in improving the health and wellbeing of their communities.”