World No Tobacco Day: A Donegal GAA club commended for its inspirational and positive initiative

The club grounds will be entirely tobacco free

no smoking vaping PIXABAY

The club grounds will be smoke free

Killybegs GAA has become one of five GAA clubs in Donegal to have introduced a smoke free campus policy. 

It follows in the footsteps of St Mary, Convoy, Milford GAA, Glenswilly GAA and most recently, Four Masters GAA Club.

The club launched its smoke free policy on World No Tobacco Day (May 31). From this date onwards, smoking and vaping (e-cigarette use) are not permitted anywhere on teh Eamonn Byrne Memorial Park, Killybegs club grounds.

John (Baker) Boyle, Killybegs GAA Chairman said: “We have adopted this policy to ensure a healthier environment for future generations of the Killybegs community.

“We want to protect our members, visitors and volunteers from the dangers of tobacco and second-hand smoke exposure. 

“We know that children and younger club members are strongly influenced by what they see and hear, and we, as role models, want to set a positive example for the younger generation to reduce youth smoking initiation.”

The smoke free policy has been introduced as part of the club’s wider commitment to the health and wellbeing of the community through the GAA’s National Healthy Clubs Project.

Michelle Cunningham is the Healthy Club Officer wiht Killybegs GAA. 

She said: “This is a very important day for Killybegs GAA. We have created a safer, cleaner environment for club members to play. We have raised awareness of the harms of tobacco smoke and the supports available for people who would like to quit.”

Maresa McGettigan, HSE Stop Smoking Specialist attended the launch, distributed resources and provided sign-posting to the local stop smoking services available throughout Donegal. 

Ms McGettigan urged other GAA clubs to follow suit and commended Killybegs GAA for introducing the policy.

“It is inspirational to see Killybegs supporting the government’s vision for a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025 and contributing to World No Tobacco day activities. 

“The theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day is ‘Commit to quit.’ 

“Smoke free environments really support people who have quit or are thinking of quitting. It has been a pleasure working with Michelle and all at Killybegs GAA to help the club accomplish this positive change and this demonstrates what can be achieved through partnership working.”

Anyone who is interested in quitting smoking is asked to please contact HSE Stop Smoking Specialists Maresa McGettigan on 086 0492465 or Fiona Boyle on 087 2514790 to receive information on any of the 13 free face-to-face clinics throughout Donegal. 

People can also contact or freephone 1800 201 203 for free support. It has been proven that there is a greater chance of quitting when people get support and use treatments to help  them quit. 

Anyone involved in another GAA club in Donegal who is interested in smoke free grounds is encouraged to call Ms McGettigan for support with introducing this positive initiative.

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