Castlebar Mitchels and the Mayo County Board have launched their Climate Action & Sustainability Strategy for the MacHale Park Campus in Castlebar.
The aim of the partnership is to enhance and develop the combined Campus into a centre of sustainability and to broadening the positive influence of the GAA beyond the physical benefits accrued by those who play competitive Gaelic Games.
Speaking at the launch, Mary Prenty, Training and Development Officer of the Mayo County Board said that “the partnership capitalises on the leadership roles both organisations have within their communities and the potential they have to engage with people of all ages to promote sustainable local development, environmental awareness and climate action”.
The partnership has also secured a pilot energy program and has become a Sustainable Energy Community (SEC). This SEC will be a potential vehicle for the MacHale Park GAA Sustainability Campus and indeed all clubs in Mayo to address energy needs. The SEC intends to engage clubs and members to promote and support sustainable energy use in clubs and members’ homes.
The development of the Strategy was supported by the Connacht Centre of Excellence, Mayo County Council, club members and stakeholders to devise a common vision to create a resilient and environmentally sustainable campus through leadership, example and mobilising action at club and county level. Partners such as the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the Climate Action Regional Office (CARO), Mayo County Council and their experts in Waste, Transport & Biodiversity came on board to support the development of the MacHale Park Strategy.
David Mellett of the Climate Action Regional Office said that “the collaboration between the different organisations to develop the Strategy demonstrates the ongoing local authority commitment to climate action and the partnership with the GAA to mobilise and support climate action locally.”
This unique relationship between Castlebar Mitchels and the Mayo County Board is a national pilot aligned with the GAA Green Clubs Program for clubs, county boards and county grounds to establish partnerships, plans and projects that will support long term sustainability, give leadership, education and awareness of environmental matters, opportunities and responsibilities.
The Green Club Programme is an all-island partnership between the GAA, the LGFA and the Camogie Association and local authorities across Ireland and is run across thematic areas such as Waste, Water, Biodiversity, Transport and Energy. Phase 1 of the Green Club Pilot Programme which commenced in November 2020 is nearing completion and will see the release of a Green Club Toolkit to be shared, further tested, and refined as the programme expands beyond this initial phase.