GAA Green Clubs – Spreading the Word
Since the launch of their Green Club Toolkit last year, ACCESS partner the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) have been engaging with sports bodies and policymakers across Ireland and overseas to share their experience of supporting community and grassroots sustainability engagement.
The GAA sustainability team have been called on to present the Green Club programme and its open access Green Club Toolkit to sports stakeholders and decision-makers in Ireland and overseas, including as a best-practice case study to an international, multi-sport audience at the Sport Positive Summit in London in October 2023 and to domestic governing bodies and sport administrators at the Sport Ireland Governance conference the following month.
The Green Club programme is also being shared in a wider sustainability context in Ireland as an example of practical, meaningful and effective climate engagement at community level, with the GAA invited to present their environmental sustainability work to domestic decision-makers and leaders of change at Ireland’s 4th National Climate Stakeholder Forum, hosted by Ireland’s Minister of the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamonn Ryan, and to senior leaders in the Department of Tourism, Arts and Sport. Indeed, the GAA’s Green Club Toolkit was highlighted as a model of grassroots sport sustainability engagement in the Irish government’s recent national Sports Capital funding call.
The GAA have also been busy promoting the Green Club Toolkit within their own membership, showcasing both the work of national Green Clubs and the ongoing sustainability initiatives of Croke Park at the stadium’s annual Sustainability Day during the 2023 All-Ireland Football semi-final, while Green Clubs across the island have been coming together in a series of provincial workshops designed to support clubs in their sustainability commitment and to promote the sharing of experience, ideas and best practice within the GAA community.
The impact of the Green Club programme across the country prompted RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, to include stories from GAA Green Clubs in their recent series ‘Heated’, which showcases inspiring local and community climate action initiatives. Available to view here – access may be restricted in some geographic regions.