Johnny Giles and Specsavers have come together to launch a new initiative searching for the Grandparent of the Year.
Sport is often seen as being the preserve of the youngest, the fittest and the healthiest members of society and that is right at the very elite level but its reach throughout our stages of life is no less and possibly even greater the older we get.
Try telling an elderly Mayo friend or relative that there is always next year and look into their eyes to see that the optimism and expectation of always looking to the future changes with age and experience.
Giles has been a part of the Irish sporting landscape as a player, a manager and a commentator on RTÉ and Newstalk throughout most of our lives. His place as a ‘Grandfather of Irish football is unquestioned and it is a winner to see him celebrate the fact that he himself is a Grandfather to eight kids and is out and about promoting this initiative in partnership with Third Age.
Grandchildren across the country are being encouraged to start nominating their grandparents with the aim of the Award being to celebrate the extraordinary contribution that grandparents make to the lives of their grandchildren and the community.
We have written throughout this year of the importance of developing physical activity programmes that bring people the benefits of an active lifestyle through sport throughout their lives.
The Confederation of Irish Golf produced an analysis to show its strength as a sport with a strong demographic and appeal beyond our most physically active years and tennis is another where at clubs up and across Ireland people continue to play long into retirement.
Walking football is an initiative pioneered in England which has much merit for being introduced here and perhaps that is the next initiative that Giles will be persuaded to take an interest in, who knows maybe as an extension of this deal with Specsavers who already have partnerships in place with The GAA and the Guinness PRO14.
“As a proud grandfather I am thrilled to have been asked to support this year’s campaign, one that recognises the value of older generations to society and families in Ireland,” said Giles speaking at yesterday’s launch.
“I am also delighted to work with a brand like Specsavers that is actively working towards removing any stigma associated with hearing loss.”
“While I don’t suffer myself I am very aware of the importance of being mindful of my hearing health. Hearing has been a big part of my career from my days on the pitch, to those in the studio, but more importantly at home with friends and family.”
The FAI, GAA, RTÉ Sport and Wilson Hartnell are among the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community.
Image Credit Inpho Morgan Treacy