Shane's take lead on substance abuse
SHANE O’Neill’s have taken the unprecedented move of promoting the message of the GAA’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) programme on its senior team jerseys.
This season, each time the club’s senior football team takes to the field of play, their jerseys will be flying the ASAP logo instead of that of a traditional sponsor.
The ASAP programme was set up by the GAA in 2006 with the aim of addressing and minimising the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol and other substances.
To this end, each club in the Association has been mandated with appointing an ASAP officer and adopting a club Drug and Alcohol Policy. However, this year the Shane O’Neill’s club decided to go a step further.
Club Chairman John McLoughlin explains, “The local area has seen significant social and economic deprivation throughout the years, with many GAA clubs in the area serving as a focal point in promoting a healthy lifestyle among players and members alike.
“With alcohol and substance abuse a major issue prevalent in many communities throughout Ireland, the club committee decided to take the lead in tackling this problem.”
To this end, senior ladies footballer Yasmin Mackin was appointed club ASAP Officer at the start of the year. With the help of senior footballer Brendan Mackin and the committee, the South Armagh club went about devising a way to promote healthier lifestyles amongst its members and the wider community.
In conjunction with Colin Regan, National Co-ordinator of the ASAP programme, it was decided to promote this initiative’s positive message around drink and drugs by placing the logo on the senior team jersey.
“The Dublin County Board and their sponsors rightly received national media coverage for their decision to replace the Vodafone logo with that of the Suicide or Survive (SOS) charity for their opening National Football and Hurling league matches.
“Here we have a club foregoing any jersey sponsorship for an entire season to spread a positive health message to its members and the wider community. It’s extremely encouraging to see,” said Regan.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday May 17. Buy your copy now either online; by clicking the subscribe button on this page, or in your local newsagent