Bantry Blues

Founded 1887

Co. Cork

Healthy Club

Healthy Club Project


Irish Life Healthy Clubs GAA HEALTHY CLUB

Bantry Blues GAA are now part of the Irish Life GAA Helthy Club project, an initiative we are excited to be a part of that can benefit all our members.

If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact us via Clubs Social Media Channels or email


The Healthy Club project aims to help GAA clubs explore how they support the holistic health of their members and the communities they serve. GAA clubs already contribute to the health and wellbeing of their members by providing opportunities to develop their physical, social, emotional, and psychological health.


The project aims to help GAA clubs identify what they are already doing well, identify areas where they can or would like to improve, and empower them to ensure that everyone who engages with their club benefits from the experience in a health-enhancing way, be they players, officers, coaches, parents, supporters, or members of their local community.


The healthy club model, which is based on best national and international practice, also aims to embed a healthy philosophy in a club while integrating health into the day-to-day club activities in a sustainable way. It also aims to place the local GAA club at the heart of the community, making it a beacon for health in the locale.

JAN 2024

BANTRY Lights Up
The GAA’s popular ‘Ireland Lights Up’ initiative returns in January 2024 in partnership with RTE’s Operation Transformation, Get Ireland Walking and the Irish Life “My Life” app. Bantry Blues again hosts this wonderful initiative at the start of 2024 encouraging all in the community to "get up" " get out" & "get active"

‘Bantry Lights Up’  brings the  community together to walk and talk in a safe environment during the dark winter evenings.  Ireland Lights Up will be showcased each week on RTE’s Operation Transformation.

In 2023, we saw great numbers taking part in "BANTRY Lights Up "helping them improve their physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

Participants can also  participate in the ‘Every Steps Counts Challenge’ delivered through the ‘MyLife’ app, in partnership with the Irish Life GAA Healthy Clubs programme. Participants can track and record their activity during the five-week challenge.

Registrations for the 2024 ‘BANTRY Lights Up’ and ‘Every Step Counts’ MyLife Challenge opens today! Click here to register BANTRY Lights Up & Every Step Counts Registration 2024.

BANTRY Lights Up commences on Wednesday, January 10th, to coincide with the broadcast of the second episode of Operation Transformation on RTE.


‘BANTRY Lights Up’ Additional Info :

• BANTRY Lights Up will run from January 10, 2024 from WOLFE TONE PARK - with walk starting at 7pm

The Community walk will take place over 6 weeks  for the duration of the Operation Transformation show. 


DEC 2023

BANTRY BLUES  has achieved Foundation Healthy Club Status. Bantry Blues policies, partners, activities and environment are aligned with supporting the holistic health of our members and community as outlined by the GAA community and health department in coordination and sponsored by Irish Life Health.

Our club was officially recognised as a Healthy Club in Mallow last week. Caroline Hodnett and Mark O’Donovan represented our healthy club team which also includes Debbie Delaney and Majella McCarthy at the event receiving the Healthy Club Recognition Plaque and certificate.




Our Annual Christmas 7s took place today in blustery conditions in Wolfe Tone Park. It was a great success. With numerous teams taken part.

Thanks to our officials for the day, referees Francis Quill and Tommy along with various ball boys inc Sean Walsh and Shay O’Donovan.





 (20th May 22 -Wolfe Tone Park )

Healthy Club Committe Chair, Mark ODonovan welcomed Club officers, Mentors, Supporters, our local Councillor, Cllr  Danny Collins, parents, local press  and most importantly our young players to the Launch

The future of our Community and Club rests with the youth of today, the importance of our club being intrinsically linked to our community cannot be underestimated and needs to be strengthened…This was very evident when we supported our local shops with grocery deliveries to people that were isolated during the pandemic…. Thanks again to anyone that helped out at the time.

Our Bantry Blues Healthy Club project aims to explore how we support the holistic health of our members and the Bantry community as a whole. We already contribute to the health and wellbeing of our members by providing opportunities to develop their physical, social, emotional, and psychological health through the medium of games. We aim to develop this further through our Healthy Club project.

The Healthy Club Project would not have been possible without the support of the Club Committee and special thanks must go to Club Chair, Philly Spillane and all the other officers for their support so far.

Thank also to Liz Campbell for attending, we look forward to being regular contributors to Grapevine, and using their magazine to let everyone know what we are up to and help build our involvement in the community.

None of this work would be possible without the tremendous work of our Healthy Club committee, of Caroline Hodnett, Debbie Delaney, Stephen Coughlan and Elaine Courtney. And Eddie Wiseman who helps out with our PRO work.

Fresh Fruit for the launch Event was Kindly sponsored by OKeeffes Supervalu

Current Healthy Club Initiatives include:

Ball4All sessions for kids with additional needs   

These fully inclusive football sessions presently run biweekly for primary school kids and will soon be available to post primary teenagers also, we already have players travelling from Caheragh, Drimoleague and Kealkil, and the feedback is incredibly positive. Thanks to Caroline Hodnett, Christine o’Donovan and all the coaches involved with getting this off the ground. It’s a fantastic addition to our club and we look forward to it flourishing in the years ahead.


Ball 4 All Indoor session

Social games

A  7s tournament was held at Christmas where past & present players and others in our community participated in a fun ansocial event.We aim to provide more non competitive games to bring enjoyment to players and encourage participation. The Christmas 7’s was organised by  Jessica Coakley, Laura O’Sullivan, Kenneth Deane, John Harrington and Joe Coakley.

This is an area of our club that can be expanded if we have enough help..

 The Club has  fantastic facilities available to us now, congrats to the development committee on this.

Walk and talk

A walking evening weekly from the start of September takes place, encouraging people of all ages to come along and walk at their own pace, bring a friend, a relative or just come along and enjoy a chat followed by a cuppa in our clubhouse afterwards.


BANTRY LIGHTS UP - In conjunction with thr RTE series "OPERATION TRANSFORMATION", the Healthy Club Committee organise community walks early in the year from the clubhouse




Coming Up

Presently we are  planning to get our Green project up and going, starting  with a sensory garden and play area in Wolfe Tone park, Debbie Delaney is heading this up and I have no doubt that she will ssucceed.

Youth Leadership Programme

This will hopefully be run in 2024 if we have enough help.

All these initiatives will be open to the whole community.

Office/meeting room refurbishment

Plans to refurbish to office/meeting room have hit a stumbling block, the dampness in the office is due to the exposed gable end over the lean to roof. Ger O’Brien is in the process of making some new cabinets for the refurbishment.

Smoke/Vape free policy

A requirement of being a healthy club was the adopting of a smoke/vape free policy, it is great that the club committee is so supportive of this policy, we will beputting up the signage and having an info evening in the spring of 2024 to launch the policy.

Social space

There are plans is to build a fully accessible social space in the grounds of Wolfe Tone Park.Several areas have been identified as possibilities,but a bit more consultation is needed to ensure the correct positioning of this area is chosen



Ahead of the Game

The Club been accepted for the "Ahead of the game" programme, this will run early in 2024 for the U14 boys.

Ahead of the Game is the most evidence-based youth sport mental health literacy programme in the world, having undergone several trials and the GAA, GPA and

Movember  excited to bring this programme to the club  while having a positive impact in our communities by raising awareness, reducing stigma, and promoting early intervention, which contribute to building healthier, more resilient, and supportive communities.

Substance use policy

We are planning a workshop to introduce the substance use policy that was adopted by our club late last year, it has been difficult to get someone to present the workshop. It will take place on the 18th of January, it’s absolutely imperative that all adult members attend this workshop. The content of the workshop is aimed at an Adult audience covering topics around mental Health/ Drugs & Alcohol . It also covers the Healthy Club ethos within the GAA.






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