By becoming a fully fledged healthy stadium the community facility will be following in the footsteps of Terryland Park in Galway, Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium, the Botnia Hallen in Finland and Sevilla FC’s home ground in Spain.
The overarching role of the Healthy Stadia Programme Network is to share examples of good practice and lessons learned amongst different sports stadia and European countries.
Speaking at the programme launch in Lisdoonvarna, Mayor of Clare Cllr Christy Curtin congratulated those involved in the North Clare Sports and Amenity Park for adopting a leading role in the promotion of healthy lifestyles within the local community and the County.
The Mayor added: “This community facility has been established as an important recreational and sporting facility in the county through its involvement in high profile events such as the An Post Tour de Burren, FAI summer camps and The Camogie Association training camps, GAA Cul Camps. I now hope other facilities through out the County will be encouraged to also become part of this prestigious network of European Healthy Stadia”.
Joe Garrihy of the North Clare Sports and Amenity Park commented: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative. There has been a huge financial investment of over €3.6million in the facility over the past number of years. It is now important that we invest in policies to ensure that the park is used to its best potential in a health enhancing setting. Being part of this network is a natural next step for the facility. This facility has become an important part of the lives of those who live in the local community.”
“Since April 2010, we estimate that up to 70,000 people have been through the Sports and Amenity Park. Being part of this initiative will strengthen it’s role in the promotion of healthy and balanced lifestyles for everyone. The Healthy Stadia policy will not cost money, just time and commitment. We want all users, especially the youth, to view the facility as place where they can use, be safe in and most of all be proud of “, added Mr. Garrihy.
John Sweeney, co-ordinator of the Clare Sports Partnership stated: “This is a great day for sport in the county. The North Clare Sports and Amenity Park is showing leadership to other community facilities. The committee are taking a holistic view that will be to the betterment of the end user. This is especially appropriate as we are currently celebrating National Recreation Week 2010”.
Building on the success of the healthy stadia programme in Galway and Dublin, the HSE said it is delighted to be on the partnership committee driving the programme in North Clare.
Mary Mac Mahon, Smoking Cessation Specialist, HSE, Clare, noted that a central element of the healthy stadia programme is the commitment to Smoke-free environments for all.
According to Ms. Mac Mahon: “People who are active are less likely to smoke, and physical activity is an important part of quitting smoking- as it helps ex-smokers to feel better, become fitter and build their stamina and energy.”
Geri Quinn, Manager of the Health Promotion Unit, HSE added that the Healthy Stadia Programme will work to make the healthier choice the easier choice for everyone concerned.
“The health benefits of being more active are immense; Physical activity helps to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression and weight gain. Getting children active from an early age reduces their risk of ill-health as an adult”, she explained.
Ms. Quinn continued: ‘I would like to congratulate the North Clare Sports and Amenity park for the positive step there are taking to improve the health of the population in North Clare. It is through cost effective initiatives like this, we can all make a real difference in promoting health and well-being.’
There are a number of simple steps that a facility has to complete to become worthy of the title of ‘Healthy Stadia’. They include:
For further details on the Healthier stadia initiative, see www.healthystadia.eu. For information on the North Clare Sports and Amenity Park see www.activitynorthclare.com
Notes To Editor:
- Images relating to today’s launch will be available from this evening. Interviewees are also available on request. Please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900 or firstname.lastname@example.org