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Pearse serves up an "Off the Booze" win

27 March, 2012

GAA Press Release
21.3.12
Midleton named ‘Off the Booze and On the Ball’ Munster winners

The Midleton Club, Cork, has been selected as the Munster provincial winners of the GAA’s inaugural ‘Off the Booze and On the Ball’ health challenge.
Over 250 clubs registered for the health challenge at www.gaa.ie/asap  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.
The four provincial winning clubs – Erin’s Isle, Dublin; Kinvara, Galway; Currin, Monaghan; and Midleton, Cork – were in Croke Park on 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 www.gaa.ie/asap were in with a chance of winning.
Everyone who registered was issued with an extensive information pack that included advice on how to engage with alcohol in a safe and healthy way, as well as practical tips on how to achieve recommended weekly activity levels and advice on diet and nutrition. The feedback from clubs has been extremely positive with the fundraising element of the challenge an obvious incentive in these challenging times.
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.”

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