COMMUNITY representatives and Mayo County Council joined together at the annual LAMA awards in Dublin, where Mayo County Council were shortlisted as a finalist with a record number of nine projects across seven different categories.
The national awards recognise and celebrate community and councils working together and provide an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work done within communities in conjunction with local authorities. In addition to the nine projects shortlisted, two from Mayo were announced as national winners - the Men on the Move Initiative in the Health and Wellbeing category, and Ballyhaunis GAA Club in the Sports Club of the Year category.
Men on the Move, now a national programme to get men aged 30 plus more physically active, was submitted by programme initiators Mayo Sports Partnership and HSE West.
Chairman of Mayo Sports Partnership Cllr Brendan Mulroy expressed his delight on the announcement stating
"Congratulations needs to be given to all the partners involved in this fantastic initiative to target inactive men in the community. Positive mental health is so important nowadays and programmes such as the Men on the Move can help to improve connectivity between people."
Operational in 9 locations in Co Mayo alone and part of a national research programme on mens health in 8 counties, Mayo Sports Partnership Sports Co-ordinator Charlie Lambert added
"Collaboration is key in developing such a successful project which commenced here in Mayo in 2013. Special thanks to HSE West, Mid West Radio, Mayo County Council, Sport Ireland, all community groups / clubs, activity leaders and Mens Shed Groups who assisted in getting this programme off the ground."
"We would also like to congratulate Ballyhaunis GAA on their best sports club of the year award. Mayo Sports Partnership is engaged in a Community Sports Hub project in Ballyhaunis and hopefully we can work further with Ballyhaunis GAA and other clubs in the area to develop integration initiatives" he continued.
HSE West Health & Wellbeing Officer Laurence Gaughan commented:
"It can be very difficult to engage men in healthy lifestyle programmes but Men on the Move seems to have struck a cord. Incorporating a small health check with the initiative engages men in thinking more about their health and wellbeing."
Support has been forthcoming from the HSE, Waterford IT, Sport Ireland and the Local Sports Partnership Network in further developing the programme nationwide. Counties such as Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny and Waterford are linking in with initiatives such as the GAAs Healthy Clubs project offering the programme as a worthwhile initiative to engage ex players back in to clubs.
For more information on Men on the Move Mayo contact programme co-ordinator Ray Mc Namara Mayo Sports Partnership at 094-9047023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org