Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Local Aungier Celtic Football Club Coaches Show Increased Levels of Fitness and Health as Part of REACH RCSI Health Programme

03 December 2009

Fifteen coaching members from Aungier Celtic Football Club in the South Inner City became on average, 3 ½ lb lighter and 13% fitter as the ten week REACH Health Improvement programme came to a close. The programme, which was organised and funded by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)’s REACH programme, required the men aged from 30 to 50 years old, to undergo fitness programmes and health workshops in conjunction with coaches from Glasgow Celtic FC and leading medical professionals


Pictured from l-r are Celtic Football Club Coaches Chris Hendr, Ryan McGregor and Frank Donegan, Porter RCSI with Dr Terry McWade at the presentation ceremony for the REACH Health Improvement programme.

Some of the key results presented by Dr. Kilian McGrogan, Mercer Medical Clinic included:

* At the beginning of the programme, six of the fifteen men were classed as average or below average in fitness levels. At the end of the programme, twelve men were classed as having good or excellent fitness levels.

* The average participant has reduced their average weekly alcohol intake by a third and are 3½ lb lighter. Lower sugar and cholesterol levels were recorded while the average participant is 13% fitter.

* The average man in the group of participants had a 1 in 77 chance of developing serious heart trouble in the next ten years. That risk has now decreased to a 1 in 111 chance.

Local Aungier Celtic Football Club Coaches with RCSI staff members at the presentation ceremony for the REACH Health Improvement programme.

Dr. Terry McWade, Deputy CEO of RCSI and Chairman of the REACH RCSI programme said “Despite the fact that many of the diseases and health conditions that men face can be prevented or treated if they are found early, many men are still more reluctant to visit their doctor than women. Increased awareness and increased willingness to consult the doctor is vital. The results from the programme demonstrate the positive consequences of regular exercise and illustrate that making small lifestyle changes and being increasingly aware of health issues can make a big difference to long-term health and well-being.” 

As part of the programme, coaches from Glasgow Celtic tailored individual fitness plans for the participants, while also carrying out fitness and training sessions. A number of leading Irish medical professionals also delivered health related workshops on topics such as weight management, diet and nutrition, good mental health and testicular and prostate cancer. Mercers Medical Centre carried out medicals and fitness tests on participants to measure progress, while student volunteers recorded blood pressure and weight of participants on a weekly basis.


Pictured from l-r are Chris Hendry and Ryan McGregor, Celtic FC Coaches with RCSI Porter, Dave Wynne and Dr Terry McWade, RCSI at the presenation ceremony of the REACH Health Improvement programme .

As a reward for successfully completing the programme, participants received a certificate at an informal ceremony held at RCSI. They will also travel to CelticPark, Glasgow in January to watch a game and to meet former and current players. 

Established in 2007, REACH (Recreation, Education and Community Health) RCSI is a recreational, education and community health outreach programme at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). The programme works in partnership with primary and post primary schools, youth and community groups together with the local community on educational, recreational and health initiatives.