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Implementation of the GAA ‘healthy clubs project’ in Ireland: a qualitative study using the consolidated framework for implementation research

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posted on 2024-02-02, 14:31 authored by Aurelie Van HoyeAurelie Van Hoye, C Regan, A Lane, Anne Vuillemin, CATHERINE WOODSCATHERINE WOODS

The sports clubs’ role in promoting health has been acknowledged by policy makers and researchers, but there is little evidence on how sports clubs implement health-related interventions. The present article investigates the Gaelic Athletic Association Healthy Club Project (HCP) implementation process (mechanisms, barriers, leverages) over a 10-year timeframe. A case study design helped to produce and compare a data synthesis for five clubs involved since 2013. A qualitative iterative data collection, including document analysis was conducted through 20 focus groups with Healthy Club Officers, coaches, participants and members. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used in the deductive analysis process, conducted by the first author. Results have shown the success of the HCP in placing health promotion on the agenda of sports clubs leading to informal policy for health promotion, even if activities and recognition are directed toward and coming from the community. This study also underlines the virtuous cycle of the settings-based approach in enhancing membership and volunteer recognition through health promotion actions, and the importance of social good and corporate social activities for sports clubs. Nevertheless, the HCP still relies on limited human resources, is not recognized by competitive oriented adult playing members. and acknowledged as a resource by some coaches, limiting its rootedness in the core business of sports clubs. Future research should empower the HCP community to focus on organizational changes and develop outcomes for individuals, for the club as a whole as well as for the local community.


Co-construction of the Health Promoting Sports Clubs-Policy Audit Tool

European Commission

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Health Promotion International, 2024, 39, pp. 1–13


Oxford University Press

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  • Health Research Institute (HRI)

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  • Physical Education and Sports Science

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