With 220 clubs from all 32 counties currently involved in the Gaelic4Mothers&Others initiative – an innovative way to introduce mothers and other women to Ladies Gaelic football in a fun, non-competitive and social environment – the nationwide programme received a significant boost this week with new official sponsors of the programme announced in a three-year deal.
The initiative, which has proven immensely popular since its inception, saw well-known broadcaster, Alison Curtis, on hand for the launch, as Sports Direct was unveiled as sponsors. Several clubs in The Avondhu catchment are involved with Gaelic4Mothers&Others, such as Kildorrery, Mallow Mná, Glanmire and Bride Rovers in County Cork, along with Aherlow in County Tipperary.
The important role that sport and physical activity plays in our lives has been highlighted even more in the past 18 months by its absence, with many women across Ireland unable to reap the mental and physical rewards associated with partaking in physical activity regularly.
A survey carried out by Sports Direct and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association with over 1,200 Gaelic4Mothers&Others participants ahead of the launch, underlined the importance of this even further, as it found that 90% of respondents felt that the initiative had improved their mental health, while 89% agreed it had empowered them to be a sporting role model within their family.
Over 40% of respondents said that time was a major barrier to their participation in sport, while one in every five women surveyed stated that confidence was their biggest obstacle to participation.
When asked how they had previously spent their time before playing Ladies Gaelic Football with their Gaelic4Mothers&Others club, just over half of respondents said that they had spent their time putting others’ priorities first.
Further insights found that 48% of Gaelic4Mothers&Others players had never played ladies football before joining the programme, while 34% had not played in over 10 years, and were returning to the sport after a break.
Meanwhile, 87% of participants felt that the programme had helped them to reconnect with friends that they wouldn’t have reconnected with otherwise, truly showcasing what Gaelic4Mothers&Others is all about.
WOMEN AS ROLE MODELS
As part of the new partnership, over the coming months, Sports Direct will show women everywhere that while visibility and role modelling may start at home, role modelling has never been so fun.
Sports Direct will release a new video series ‘#MyReasonWhy’ to showcase ambassadors across the four provinces of Ireland who will share their reason why – why they’re involved in Gaelic4Mothers&Others, and why it means so much to them.
All 220 clubs signed up to the Gaelic4Mothers&Others initiative will also receive a toolkit as part of the initiative, which will include a social media package and a sponsor flag to champion the Gaelic4Mothers&Others initiative in their community.
For more information on the Gaelic4Mothers&Others programme, visit www.ladiesgaelic.ie