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Sigersons have green goals in their sights as part of new scheme

21 April 2021

Members of Strabane Sigersons GAA club got the boot into a new environmental initiative to help tackle local climate change, with the planting of 120 trees at the club today.

The club was successfully selected as one of 45 pilot clubs taking part in the GAA Green Club programme, as part of the North West Green Club Working Group collaborating with Derry City & Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council, Sustainable NI, Ulster GAA and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The project aligns with the objectives and approach of the multi-agency North West Climate Action Plan, currently under development.

Sigersons' members will participate in a 12-month programme to help understand how the GAA can help tackle climate change and environmental issues. The scheme will bring together the practical learnings from the participating clubs to help shape a GAA Green Clubs toolkit that will be made available to all GAA units in Ireland, featuring useful case studies, established partnership models and available funding streams.

Sigersons have also expanded the Green Club initiative to encompass the Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Programme. This involves youth members in developing strategies and plans to improve the local environment focussing on the themes of sustainable energy and waste reduction. Ideas will help structure the club's Green Action Plan which has begun with the planting of trees on club grounds.

The tree planting project was made possible with support from Derry City & Strabane District Council's Tree Officer with the trees kindly supplied through Department for Community's Warm Well and Connected (WWC) Programme.

Climate Programme Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council. Cathy Burns, said: "I am delighted to see local sports clubs getting behind the NW Climate Action Plan and channelling the interest and energy of their members into environmental initiatives. Sports Pitches are included amongst Council's Natural Capital Account assets that we all enjoy for recreation and leisure, and the work the club have been doing will enhance the surroundings for everyone. I look forward to seeing the development of the Green Club toolkit and hopefully the extension of the Green Club pilot to all GAA clubs across the country."

Sigersons' Green Club officer, Ciaran McLaughlin, said they were looking forward to playing an active role in achieving some new environmental goals. "The Green Club's initiative has the potential to be a real catalyst for change, harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of not just our young players on the pitch but also drawing in club officials, members and their families whilst fostering their interest in all matters environmental."

The North West cluster includes the following clubs; Strabane Sigersons, Tyrone, St Joseph's Craigbane, Derry, Four Masters, Donegal, Naomh Muire Íochtar na Rosann, Donegal, Buncrana, Donegal.

For more information go to www.derrystrbane.com/climate