A very successful first weekend of Community Games Festival 2015 in Athlone!
Athlone welcomed over 10,000 visitors as the 2015 HSE Community Games Festival got underway for its first weekend of events from 14th to 16th August. Thousands of children took part and thousands more are set to take part next weekend - 21st to 23rd August for the second weekend of activities.
Kevin Kilbane was in Athlone IT on Friday 14th August to help launch the 2015 HSE Community Games Festival and pointed out that when he was growing up it was all about winning, especially at a professional level but that he has now come full circle and realised that being involved in sport is much more about participation and taking part than about winning. He praised Community Games on its vision and message and said he even felt a pang of nostalgia as he watched the Indoor Soccer U10 match.
Minister for sport Paschal Donohoe echoed his sentiments and spoke about his very fond memories of HSE Community Games growing up. He was delighted to see HSE Community Games alive and well and complimented Athlone IT on its excellent facilities.
This year HSE Community Games is teaming up once again with Healthy Ireland, with an emphasis on healthy eating, as Athlone IT serves up only healthy options for resident children.
Speaking ahead of the Community Games Festival, Dr. Cate Hartigan from the HSE says: “By teaming up with Healthy Ireland, we want to encourage even more children, families and communities to be active, so everyone can experience the enormous benefits. This is one of the most important changes that we all want to see in Ireland. On top of that, the community participation and volunteerism that is an essential part of Community Games adds to our shared wellbeing in towns and villages nationwide. I wish all of our participants, volunteers, coaches and supporters a wonderful time and to thoroughly enjoy what I hope will be a great experience”.
HSE Community Games has long attracted volunteers from all walks of life. In 2014, more than 10,000 volunteers donated their time and energy to the 200,000 children who take part in the HSE Community Games.
Dr. Cate Hartigan makes no bones about where the credit for the success of the HSE Community Games lies: with the 10,000 volunteers donating their time to make it happen; “HSE Community Games has a very special place in people's hearts for promoting camaraderie and friendly competition but its success is also a testament to the work of our volunteers. Whether they give a week, a day or an hour of their time, volunteers are critical to the success of the games”.
As weekend 1 winds down, preparations have already begun at Athlone IT to welcome a new set of children whose hearts are set on winning gold and who always go home with memories and friends - whether they win or lose!
By Janice Cooper
What can I say a fantastic start to the Lisa Orsi Community Games Summer Camp where around 60 children from Derry and Donegal enjoyed hours of sport, song and dance under the expert tuition of Carmel Doyle and her youth crew.
Today saw the camp being endorsed by Joe Trolan Chairperson of the Asian County Board GAA and Joe Brolly former Derry player and now television pundit. We are delighted to have had such high profile figures come and join us - with both of them highlighting the need for organ donation and also proper insurance cover when young people travel abroad. This is an area that Dennis Orsi, Lisa's daddy, is intent on highlighting and publicising over the coming months.......
So here's to another great day tomorrow (sadly our last day of Summer Camp!). Won't the young lady herself be as pleased as punch......keep watching over us all Lisa 💞
Tommy Bowe started out as a gymnast, Sean O’Brien was a sprinter, Robbie Henshaw was a hurdler, Niamh Briggs was an athlete and Niall Quinn was a Long Puck champion, all through Community Games. So it seems that to become excellent at one sport doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to just one sport!
And it’s never too late – in an interview with Community Games Tommy Bowe said: "I always enjoyed rugby as a sport but never realized I had a talent until I left school at around 18. I would encourage children to try lots of sports and find out which is their favourite. Playing other sports will help in rugby as you pick up skills in every sport that come in useful.”
Bressie is another advocate of diversity in sport, speaking last year with Community Games he said: “Find a sport you love. There are so many sports and just because your friends may love rugby or soccer you don't have to play it. For example a good friend of mine never liked sport as a teenager as he felt he always had to play the sport his friends played. He started experimenting with other sports and became an incredible cyclist at a top level as there was something about this sport he loved so he excelled in it. Life is too short to do something you don't enjoy and when there is so much choice there is no reason to not give everything a shot.”
The thing about being involved in sport from an early age is that variety is key. Maybe Tommy can jump so high because of skills learned in his Monaghan Community Games Gymnastics club? Maybe Sean can tear down the field with a ball in his hand because of the confidence he got from winning a medal in the 100m? Is Robbie able to leap like a gazelle over burly Scottish rugby players because he had lots of practice in the hurdles?
The other thing is to never give up and to never stop dreaming. Sean O’Brien lost his first rugby tournament in the County semi-final in Community Games – the next year he joined Tulllow Rugby Club and the rest, as they say, is history.
As Tommy Bowe said: “Never in a million years would I have thought I'd get the chance to play for my country or the Lions but I dreamed about it all the time. It shows that when you have a dream of what you want to achieve and you combine it with training and hard work, your dream can come true!
Whatever sport your child wants to play, let them and let them play lots! There is no wasted time and it's never too late. The friends they will make, the skills they will learn and the long-lasting health benefits will be the ultimate gold medal!
For more information on getting involved in over 50 different sports and cultural activities visit www.communitygames.ie
In what must be an unprecedented event, four siblings once again struck gold for the second year running in this year's Wicklow Community Games Swimming Finals which were held on the 6th of June in Arklow. All four brothers who, represented Enniskerry, will now go on to represent Wicklow in the Community Games National Festival in Athlone in August.
Well done boys and we wish you all the best in Athlone in August!
MOVE and NowWeMOVE campaign are part of a Pan-European initiative, supported by the Community Games. The cross sector vision of MOVE is to get 100 million more Europeans active in regular sport and physical activity by 2020.
The first step to this in 2015 is a No Elevators Day, which will take place on Friday the 5th June. For one day we are asking people who are physically able, to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Did you know?
1. Walking up the stairs burns almost 700% the number of calories burned standing in an elevator
2. Two minutes of stair-climbing per day burns enough calories to eliminate the one pound the average adult gains each year
3. In one study, men who climbed at least 20 floors a week (about 3 floors a day) had a 20% lower risk of stroke and death from all causes
4. Stair-climbing has been shown to raise good cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health
We are asking you, your organisation, colleagues, employers, employees, family and friends to support the NED by taking the stairs on the 5th June.
All we ask is that you take some photographs or video footage of people taking the stairs and email them to email@example.com.
No Elevators Day is part of the NowWeMOVE campaign, supporting the European Week of Sport – #BeActive.
The Healthy Ireland (HI) and Community Games ‘Steps to Health’ is a quality standard in health promotion. This is an opportunity for Community Games to highlight the valuable contribution made by volunteers and participants to improving the health and well-being of all members of the community.
‘Steps to Health’ will be awarded to all Areas who achieve the standards detailed on the Progress Report Form. Many Community Games volunteers are already working on health promotion initiatives and ‘Steps to Health’ has been developed to recognise and reward this work.
The Steps to Health Initiative was launched on the 13th May and the initiative is open from this day. However progress will be evaluated quarterly. The deadline for entry to the Area Awards which will take place in Mullingar Park Hotel on 28th November 2015 is the 16th October 2015.
There are three quality standards on offer: Gold, Silver or Bronze. The ‘Steps to Health’ quality standard is valid for one year only, but Areas that continue to maintain the standards will also maintain their ‘Steps to Health’ quality standards.
Returning Progress Forms
Progress will be evaluated quarterly:
At any of these stages Areas have the opportunity to attain one of the quality standards (gold, silver or bronze). You will be asked to provide a random selection of evidence of standards achieved. Health Promotion Officers from the HSE or Development Officers from Community Games may also visit your Area to see some of the work in action.
Inclusion in the Area Awards 2015
The ‘Steps to Health’ quality standard will also contribute to the points allocation for the Area Awards, as follows:
If you wish for the ‘Steps to Health’ quality standard to contribute points towards the Area Awards you must have your Progress Report Form in by the September evaluation and any additional updates by Monday the 12th October 2015.
How will the points be added to the Area Awards Scoring Sheets?
Areas and Counties will be notified of the standard quality and points allocation (where applicable) from each Area taking part in the ‘Steps to Health’ 2015, by the 16th October. Counties then simply add the ‘Steps to Health’ point’s allocation to the Areas in their respective Counties who are entered in the Area Awards 2015.
How to record your evidence
Hard copy materials, photos, videos etc are suitable. HSE Health Promotion Officers and CG Development Officers may also visit Areas. We ask that Areas be creative in this regard. Please note that you are not required to send in the evidence with the progress form, until requested.
How to complete the standards
There are a number of statements (under the headings of Topics and Processes) which your Area must work towards in order to achieve a ‘Steps to Health’ quality standard. Each statement carries a weighting of points which is written in the box under ‘Yes’. The maximum number of points that can be achieved is 35, this is the Gold quality standard. In order to achieve each standard you must achieve the following points: Bronze: 14-25 points Silver: 26-33 points Gold: 35 points The Progress Report Form is to be used as a tool which allows you to track your progress and is also to be used for the quarterly evaluations.
Returning Your Completed Application
Areas must send the Progress Report Form to: HSE Community Games, 20 Inish Carraig House, Golden Island, Athlone, Co. Westmeath or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org by each of the quarterly deadlines. For inclusion in the Area Awards, please ensure that any additional standards achieved are sent in by Monday the 12th October to ensure the correct allocation of points.
It seems like just yesterday when we were in Limerick celebrating all our Volunteers and Areas at the 2014 Area and Volunteer Awards, but it's already time to prepare for the 2015 HSE Community Games Area, Volunteers and Media Awards!
Date: Saturday 28th November 2015
Venue: Mullingar Park Hotel
ACCOMMODATION: Can be booked directly on their WEBSITE using the code COM2811
On 18th April in UCC Mardyke Arena Community Games were proud to be a part of the Cork Sports Ability Day organised by the Cork Sports Ability Forum and Cork Sports Partnership with the aim of creating awareness and promotion of sport for people with disabilities in Cork.
The day was packed with demonstrations and come & try sessions from a range of different sports including wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, amputee football, special yoga, table tennis, blind football, boxing, boccia, bowls and Dance.
Community Games had an information stand accompanied by other disability sports clubs and organisations from Cork. It was great that Community Games were able to show their involvement in the area of inclusion and to show what's on offer.
Everyone had an opportunity to take part in come & try sessions in a variety of sports. The event drew many different people ranging form parents, people with disabilities, healthcare professionals, teachers, SNA’s, students, youth club leaders, sports coaches and anyone with an interest in promoting sport for people with disabilities.
Present on the day were - Paralympic Medalist Orla Barry, Ireland's Women’s Captain Niamh Briggs, two Cork City FC players, along with CEO of the Irish Sports Council, John Treacy, Minister Kathleen Lynch, Mayor of County Cork Councillor Alan Coleman and Deputy Lord Mayor Fergal Dennehy.
The Community Games visited the Direct Provision Centre in Mosney on Thursday the 19th March. Community Games would like to thank Ken McCue and Perry Ogden from SARI for arranging this event.
Community Games has very fond memories of Mosney and it was great to be back. It was made even more special by seeing so many enthusiastic and talented young sports stars. They were excited to learn more about the Community Games and how they can participate.
The foundation of the Community Games is based on participation, inclusion and fun, a vision shared by SARI. Sport can help build communities and provides the opportunity to bring people together. It is especially important for our young people to help them grow physically, mentally and emotionally.
Joe Fox, Vice President and Eileen Doherty, Director and Meath County Secretary presented the football teams with a sports pack. Arrangements will be made in the coming weeks to organise a mini tournament between local teams and teams from Mosney. We look forward to seeing more children and their parents from the centre and other centres around the country participating Community Games events.
The CARA Centre are currently promoting their Disability Inclusion Training courses in
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown on the 14th March at Our Lady of Good Counsel Girls National School, Johnstown, Dun Laoghaire
Laois on the 18th of April at Macra Hall, Portlaoise.
Mayo on the 18th April at Davitt College Sports Hall
Who Should Attend?
Sports Coaches, Instructors, Sport leaders, Teachers, Parents, Volunteers and anyone interested or involved in the provision of Sport and Physical Activity for people with dsabilities
On completion of the course all participants will receive a Coaching Ireland/CARA APA Centre award and a course resource pack.
Note: Booking is on a first come first served basis. Book now to secure your place!
If you would like more information?
Watch the YOUTUBE promotional clip below for more information
Get in Touch!
If you have any news you would like to see featured on our blog please click here