Many of you will be familiar with

the GAA’s Healthy Club project

which aims to transform GAA

clubs into health-enhancing

hubs for their communities. A major part

of the success of this project has been

working with partner organisations in

specialist areas, dealing with a range of

social issues affecting community’s right

across Ireland.

One of these partner organisations is the

RNLI, an organisation that operates a

volunteer-led lifeboat search and rescue

service in Ireland and Britain, at sea and on

inland waters and who save lives through

action and their drowning prevention work.

The charity’s ‘Respect the Water’

programme gives life-saving advice and

information to people who never thought

they would be at risk of drowning, in a

way they can relate to and that is easy to

understand and pass on to others.

Every year people are losing their lives to

drowning and the GAA community has not

been left untouched by this.

So what is happening?

The RNLI would like to deliver safety talks to

minor and senior teams at GAA clubs in their

local communities so they can understand

the risks of drowning and how simple action

can save lives.

Why are the RNLI specifically targeting

male minor and senior teams?

Current drowning figures show a clear gender divide, with men accounting for
over two-thirds of those who lose their
lives through drowning. The campaign is
primarily aimed at men, particularly those
aged between 16 and 39 years, who are
more likely to take risks. However, the
safety advice is relevant for anyone and the
RNLI Ambassadors are willing to speak to
members of all ages, both male and female.
Will it need much support or time?
Not at all. The RNLI’s team of volunteers are
specially trained and are GAA supporters
themselves. They attended Croke Park
to receive their training and have short
presentations (approximately half an hour)
that they can deliver locally. All they need is
a contact person and a time that suits and
they will do the rest.
What can you do to help?
If you are near the coast or an RNLI lifeboat
station then you may get a call from one of
the RNLI volunteers offering a talk and you
will know what to expect. If you would like
to get a visit arranged you can contact the
RNLI directly at their Irish Head Office and
speak to Susan on Tel: 01-8900 460 or email
Again, we know there are a lot of asks on
clubs and the Healthy Club project deals
with many important issues. The RNLI
has worked with the GAA to make this
programme relevant to young people who
lead busy and active lives. These are the
people we need to reach with this message
and ultimately a short presentation could
save a life at your club.