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Navan Arch win July Gala Gifts for Clubs cash prize

12 Jul 2021
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We are delighted to announce that Navan Arch is July’s winner of the Gala Gifts for Clubs competition and has won the €500 cash prize.

Navan Arch are this month’s deserving winner of Gala Retail’s generous cash prize. The club was quick to act when government restrictions put a stop to activity in March 2020.

From early April the club had a  Zoom account up and running and were making an effort to replicate their weekly activities online. The club kept things interesting with not just sport and physical activities but also art, poetry and music projects. For example, every Tuesday was choir night, which resulted in the club entering three competitions and even producing a CD!

Thursdays were traditionally the day the club would meet up (pre-COVID) so to keep spirits high Thursday activities became the events to look forward to. Zumba, yoga, line dancing, discos (a firm favourite among the club's 120 members), treasure hunts and lip-sync battles helped the club mix it up every week.

As challenges swept across social media Navan Arch made sure they were always on-trend. The club took part in the Jerusalema dance challenge, created a mini Operation Transformation, and made sure to join in any Special Olympics Ireland activities (eg. Virtual Competitions and Let’s Run) whenever available. We hear the Spring Clean challenge was very welcomed by all the parents involved!

Even though physical interaction was extremely limited over the past year the Navan Arch committed to staying engaged and even organised online social activities with other clubs in the Leinster Region.

Not only did the club focus on sport and cultural activities, they also made time for education sessions like their Saturday morning Healthy Eating Programme workshop. This session was very useful not only for the athletes but the volunteers admitted to picking up a few pointers as well!

“I have loved every Tuesday and Thursday. Thank you to the volunteers who I think are all wonderful and have kept us going through the pandemic”

“Covid separated us, zoom connected us.  Nothing can tear us apart”

“I learnt so much from our Zoom sessions, from learning new songs, healthy eating and learning things about each other.  I taught others too by hosting Keep Fit classes.”

“Navan Arch Zooms were fun, full of humour and laughter and fantastic craic, friendship and laughter radiated through”

“The Navan Arch Club Zoom Sessions meant to me that we got to connect with our friends in or local clubs and the other clubs around the country.  I love how we got to spread the positivity and kindness to all of our friends during Covid through Zoom.  It is a pretty cool thing to do for people in these times.  So even though we couldn’t see our friends face to face, we still got to connect with them through the Zoom Sessions and as the saying goes “Life is better with friends”
-Navan Arch Athletes

Of course, it wasn't only the athletes who enjoyed the online sessions!

"Navan Arch Club's outreach over Zoom has provided encouragement and a source of social engagement to help stave off the feeling of being completely isolated from our friends and fellow club members, which was so desperately needed in the earlier days of the pandemic when everything was so unfamiliar and frightening. 

It was an invaluable tool for the athletes to express their fears and know that they are not alone, that we are all in this together. Over the course of the subsequent months we have had so much fun together through song, dance, exercise, Special Olympics virtual competitions, cookery, meditation, yoga, celebrating birthdays and personal achievements, and much much more. 

As a volunteer, it has been an entirely fulfilling experience in making the very most of a bad situation for the club members, fellow volunteers, and myself."
-Karen Kinahan, Volunteer

A huge thank you to all the clubs who entered the Gala Gifts for Club competition. If you didn’t win this time around your entry will go forward to next month’s draw so there’s no need to enter again. If you haven’t entered yet, fill in this short form and tell us what your club is doing virtually to engage with your athletes or volunteers.