Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Larry McCarthy, centre, during the Launch of Ireland Lights Up 2022 in association with RTE's Operation Transformation. (Pic: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile)
The GAA’s popular ‘Ireland Lights Up’ walking initiative returns in January 2022 in partnership with RTE’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking.
Ireland Lights Up (ILU) encourages GAA clubs across the 32 counties to turn on their floodlights and open their walking tracks to enable their local communities to come together to walk and talk in a safe environment during the long dark evenings of winter.
As ever, Operation Transformation (which returns to our screens on January 5th) will shine a light on this great initiative by showcasing each week on the show GAA clubs that are participating in ILU.
Due to public health restrictions, ILU 2021 was cancelled last January. With a record 700 GAA clubs already signed up to support their communities, the GAA Healthy Clubs project partner Irish Life stepped up to help fill the void.
Through their lifestyle App, MyLife, the clubs instead recruited almost 28,000 participants to walk the walk in the Healthy Clubs ‘Every Steps Counts Challenge’. They recorded a combined step count of 7.5 billion over seven weeks. On average, each participant walked just over 200km.
To build on this success, another Healthy Clubs steps challenge will run concurrent to ILU 2022, with some great prizes for participating clubs on offer from Irish Life.
The MyLife Every Step Counts Challenge will ask each club and their members to collectively walk 4,000 kilometres which is approximately the distance around Ireland.
The challenge will commence on the 12th January and run for five weeks until midnight on the 16th February.
The challenge will be split across the four provinces with each club that reaches the target included in a prize draw. In each province there are three O'Neills vouchers up for grabs - €2,500, €1,500 & €1,000.
All GAA clubs can get involved in the Steps Challenge (irrespective of having a walking track facility) and are automatically registered when they register for ‘Ireland Lights Up’.
Participating clubs will be asked to open their gates on any or all evenings for the duration of the campaign from Wednesday 12th January to Wednesday 2nd March 2022.
Uachtarán CLG, Larry McCarthy, said:
“The GAA is delighted to see Ireland Lights Up return in 2022 in partnership with RTE’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking" stated Uachtarán CLG, Larry McCarthy
"It is one of our most popular community initiatives and its enabling of physical, mental, and social health couldn’t be more timely.
“We are also delighted to be teaming up with Irish Life to deliver another Healthy Clubs Steps Challenge as part of ILU 2022. The use of the MyLife App enables participants to track their individual steps and health benefits, while also potentially winning some valuable gear for their clubs.”
To register your club for Ireland Light Up and the MyLife Healthy Clubs Steps Challenge, go to: www.getirelandwalking.ie/irelandlightsup.
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