Best Practices

Few national sports federations invest in health promotion using the settings-based approach, but do have activities and programs on different health dimensions or health behaviours (nutrition, doping).

Two exemplar programs have been acknowledged as good practice:

The Good Sports Program

Good Sports is Australia’s largest community health sports program. It has been helping build strong community sporting clubs across Australia for over 20 years.

Designed for busy sports clubs, Good Sports takes the guess work out of complying with legal requirements and gives you the upper hand when it comes to attracting funding, new members and volunteers.

Website for more information:

The Healthy Club Project

The Healthy Club project aims to help GAA clubs explore how they support the holistic health of their members and the communities they serve. GAA clubs already contribute to the health and wellbeing of their members by providing opportunities to develop their physical, social, emotional, and psychological health.

The project aims to help GAA clubs identify what they are already doing well, identify areas where they can or would like to improve, and empower them to ensure that everyone who engages with their club benefits from the experience in a health-enhancing way, be they players, officers, coaches, parents, supporters, or members of their local community.

The healthy club model, which is based on best national and international practice, also aims to embed a healthy philosophy in a club while integrating health into the day-to-day club activities in a sustainable way. It also aims to place the local GAA club at the heart of the community, making it a beacon for health in the locale.

Website for information:

An evaluation of the sustainability of the healthy club project has been ran, as an example of success factors and challenges to be targeted by national sports federations when implementing health promotion. Some key learnings are presented here:


  • + Learning process from Phase to Phase
  • + Openness to novelty (new topics)
  • + Safeguarding clubs from overinvestment
  • + Proper use of evaluation
  • – Financial and human resources
  • – Training volunteers in HP
  • – Boredom of reporting
  • – Cost of evaluation

Partnership & Policy

  • + Complementary partners
  • + Project present in national health policy
  • – Operationalisation of policy at local level
  • – Recognition of sports contribution to health


  • + A single referent for clubs and County
  • + Role clarity
  • + Steering community with external partners
  • – Ability to implicate county and club board
  • – Clear definition of task of CHWC
  • – Clarification of decision-making process between county and national
  • – Cross-collaboration within GAA at national level


  • + Centralisation of club follow up
  • + Community of practice
  • + Recognition of volunteers investment
  • – Duplication of information between county and club

Poster presented at the 15th European Public Health Conference in Berlin: Click Image to view or click here