Supporting Local News

Galway greats help current generation to cope with stress and get Ahead of the Game

Galway hurling legend Iggy Clarke believes mental fitness is just as important as a player’s physical fitness, and strength and conditioning.

“If we’re mentally well and strong and healthy in ourselves, then we are going to play better,” he said.

Wing back on the senior All-Ireland winning team of 1980, the hurling icon feels modern players are under more pressure now than ever.

“The more we can do the better to relieve that pressure,” he said.

Movember Ahead of the Game is a programme that aims to tackle that stress – by building mental fitness and strengthening resilience of teenagers to deal with challenges in sport and life.

Iggy and Galway camogie star Niamh Hanniffy are two of over 20 facilitators on the programme who deliver workshops to young people about the power of talking and sharing.

Former Galway hurler Justin Campbell, counsellor and psychotherapist, is a supervisor who provides mentoring and support to the facilitators.

The emotional literacy programme is delivered by men’s health organisation Movember, the GAA and GPA (Gaelic Players Association).

Since it started last November, more than 5,000 people have been reached. That includes 3,000 teenage boys and girls in 176 clubs across 32 counties, including 12 clubs in Galway, as well as 2,000 of their parents and coaches.

“Most people know what physical injury is. But when it comes to a mental setback or a mental injury, the answers are not as fluent,” said Iggy, a counsellor and psychotherapist.

“The challenges we focus on in the programme are anxiety and depression – they’re the most prevalent. But there are other pressures, and social media is a huge pressure on young people,” he added.

Caption: Iggy Clarke….mental health as important as physical fitness.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up