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Wexford GAA launches “Off the Booze and on the Ball”

Wexford GAA launches ‘Off the Booze and On the Ball’ health initiative
 
Wexford GAA issued a challenge to all club members in the county to ‘Get Off the Booze and On the Ball’ this January at the launch of the Association’s new health initiative in the Ferrycarrig Hotel on Sunday.
‘Off the Booze and On the Ball’ is a health initiative with a twist and it challenges members of the GAA to abstain from alcohol for the month of January 2012 and in doing so seek sponsorship to go towards their local GAA club. Participants are also encouraged to engage in some new exercises that help them reach their recommended weekly activity levels during the month, and hopefully throughout 2012.
Wexford U21 stars Conor Carty and Mark Fanning were on hand to give their backing to the initiative, while county chairman Gerard Doyle and County ASAP Officer Denis Nolan fully endorsed the initiative as a great way to promote healthier lifestyles amongst GAA members in Wexford while also giving clubs an innovative way of raising some valuable funds at the start of the New Year.
The ‘Pint Sized Challenge’ was extended personally by Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, Criostóir Ó Cuana, who launched the event with Minister of State at the Department of Health, Róisín Shortall in Croke Park on November 22. The initiative is being 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.
Also in attendance at the Wexford launch were County Treasurer, Andrew Nolan, PRO, Mary Foley, National Co-ordinator for the ASAP programme, Colin Regan, and local ASAP County Committee members Tony Fagan (Enniscorthy region), Des Croke (Wexford region) and Bernard Carty (Gorey region).
The Wexford ASAP Committee, under the guidance of Denis Nolan as its chairperson, has been instrumental in ensuring all clubs in the county has an active ASAP Officer in place and, as outlined in the GAA’s 2009-2015 Strategic Vision and Action Plan, adopt a Drug and Alcohol policy.
Individuals and full club panels can sign up for the ‘Pint Sized Challenge’ at www.gaa.ie/asap where they will receive an ‘Off the Booze and On the Ball’ sponsorship card and an information pack containing details on health, exercise and diet. Further information is also available from Denis Nolan on 086-8111878.
“If a panel of 30 players takes on the challenge and raises €100 each that’s €3,000 for the club at the end of January, not to mention the health benefits they will have accrued,” Denis said at the launch. “The information pack you get is a great source of material regardless of your current activity level and will help us get the ASAP message out to our members,” he concluded. All participating clubs that register at www.gaa.ie/asap will be in with a chance of winning a training session with one of Ireland’s leading high performance coaches or one of the country’s leading sports nutritionists in 2012. Clubs are also encouraged to run a health-related event for their local community on the final weekend of January, such as a fun run, walk, or a ceilí, or a fun football or hurling match. 
Off the Booze & On the Ball, which is endorsed and supported by the GPA, fully supports the RSA’s road safety message and participants are encouraged to make themselves available as a designated driver for friends or family during their month of abstinence

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