More than 20 clubs were represented at a seminar organised by the county’s Health and Wellbeing Committee.
The unified message was that most of those present on the night believe that gambling addition is a real problem within their own communities.
Delegates at Garvaghey listened attentively as invited speakers outlined the services they provide in addressing the issue of addiction.
An informal discussion which followed highlighted the concern which exists in relation to the problem, and gave club officials an opportunity to share experiences and consider appropriate strategies.
Tyrone GAA chairperson Roisin Jordan said: “Tyrone GAA are committed to supporting the clubs. It was evident from our Seminar that much work is needed to provide information and guidance to the clubs on problems associated with gambling and other addictions within the clubs and community.
“Our Health and Wellbeing Committee are working hard with the relevant services who have the expertise and resources to assist with the delivery of these much needed programmes.”
During the seminar, delegates were presented with information from a representative from the Dunlewey Centre on recognising the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction, as well as local support services people can contact.
The delegates in attendance were keen to acknowledge the role clubs and county can play in having a positive influence on its members in relation to gambling.
One delegate spoke about the solid infrastructure the GAA provides in our community. This structure presents an opportunity for clubs to provide education and awareness on the issues relating to gambling and support information to those who may already have an addiction or for those concerned about a team mate or family member’.
Another delegate spoke about the practical help people can get in relation to phone applications etc.
Discussion on the night provided a powerful insight into the real effects gambling is having in clubs and communities, with everyone in attendance agreeing that it is an issue that requires immediate action.
The Tyrone GAA Health and Wellbeing Committee have committed to continue to support clubs with this issue where possible, and work with the Ulster GAA Health and Wellbeing team on potential opportunities.
Anyone who is concerned about their own gambling can contact Dunlewey Helpline on 08000 886 725 If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 Or the Samaritans 116 123. Also a directory of local addiction services is available on: www.drugsandalcoholni.info/services-near-you.