Wednesday 23rd October marked the inaugural HSE Community Games Healthy Events Awards ceremony in the Ashling Hotel in Dublin and the overall winners Ardagh/Moydow /Glen Community Games in Co. Longford were delighted to accept a cheque for €1,250 from legendary Irish Goalkeeper Packie Bonner in appreciation of the fantastic work they put into promoting Healthy Events in their local Areas.
Over 50 Areas entered the 2013 Healthy Events Awards which are designed to encourage HSE Community Games organisers, volunteers and parents to think about the way events are run in their communities and to try to make them more health promoting in the areas of sun safety, physical activity, nutrition, substance misuse and mental health.
The winning Areas demonstrated the effectiveness of their efforts and the potential long term impacts of promoting health in their communities through video, text and images.
As Packie pointed out in his speech yesterday, it is not all about winning and every Community Games Area that took part in this unique and novel project deserved praise. The projects were all of a very superior quality and a huge amount of work went into them.
Going hand in hand with participating in sport is forming life long healthy attitudes towards food and exercise and he praised the work being done by the HSE Community Games in raising awareness in local communities.
Packie also said that fostering in children both team-spirit and self empowerment comes from allowing them to participate in all events. It is important not to focus on just one sport or pigeon-hole children into participating in just one activity. Children should be trying their hands at a range of activities. With over 50 to choose from, the Community Games is as good a place to start as any!
He pointed out that there should be no place on the bench for children - every child must be given the opportunity to play on the field at every match. The thrill and elation that comes with doing sport and being part of a team is something that should be experienced by every child.
He also spoke about the word "Community" and how important it was to him growing up in Donegal - at the HSE Community Games we definitely can identify with this - without the help of the local volunteers, neighbours, local pitches and halls the Community Games would not be what it is today.
On the day we were also delighted to have Dr Stephanie O'Keeffe, the HSE National Director of Health & Wellbeing, who praised the work being done by the HSE/Community Games partnership and said that she is proud to be involved in its collaboration. The work being done at a local level to involve children in such a wide range of sporting activities is something she very much encourages.
She said, “The Community Games participants and volunteers throughout the country are proving to be the ideal advocates for healthy living. We are already seeing the positive effect this initiative is having on the Areas involved, in terms of greater participation, wider choice of games and fun and joy everyone is having."
Gerard Davenport, HSE Community Games President, highlighted what an important role HSE Community Games plays in helping to involve children from all over Ireland in a wide range of sports. It is not simply a case of the Community Games providing something for everyone but rather everything for everyone - no child should be left out.
Congratulations to everyone for taking part in this initiative. The winners represent the counties of Longford, Kerry and Kilkenny and include Ardagh/Moydow/Glen (AMG) in Co. Longford who were awarded 1st place, Duagh/Lyre in Co. Kerry who came in 2nd place and Lisdowney/Ballyragget in Co. Kilkenny were placed 3rd.
Please see our photos from the day below and a very special video about a certain match against Romania in Italia '90!!
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