Go For Life Games

The overall aim of Go for Life is to get older people more active, more often. The aim of the Go for Life Games is to involve older people in recreational sport. The games are run with the support of Local Sports Partnerships and the HSE.

The Games involve the National Games (held on one day annually), Leagues and Friendly games. These games involve three sports - see below. 

Sports played in the Go for Life Games

The Go for Life Games adapted by Go for Life involve three sports that can be played in Singles, Pairs and Teams.

  • Lobbers- adaption of Petanque and Boules
  • Flisk- adaption of Frisbee and Horseshoe Pitching
  •  Scidil-adaption of Ten-Pin Bowling and Skittles

It is important to remember:

  • The emphasis of the Games is on participation and fun
  • Played in a non-competitive way as much as  possible
  • Participants encouraged to umpire their own game

National Games 

The sixth annual Go for Life Games took place in DCU on Saturday 10thJune. A total of 24 Teams participated from Fingal, Wicklow, Mayo, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Galway, Offaly, Waterford, Meath, Kildare, Cork, Wexford, Cavan, Monaghan, Carlow, Clare, Dublin City, Limerick, South Dublin, Roscommon, Louth, Laois and Westmeath.

Each county had teams taking part in three games which are based on some of the activities played by Go for Life groups around the country - ‘Lobbers’ (a target game adapted from petanque and boules), ‘Flisk’ (adapted from boccia and horseshoe pitching), and ‘Scidils’ (an adaptation of ten pin bowling with one skittle).

Now in its sixth year, the Go for Life Games is one of the biggest social sports events for older people in Ireland and this year’s event brought together 300 older players from all over Ireland to compete, to stay healthy and to have fun.

The Spirit of the Games awards go to teams and individuals who encourage a spirit of fair play and camaraderie during the final. The individuals who received the Spirit of the Games awards were Mike Byrne, Kilkenny, Sean Clancy, Laois and Danny Gallagher, Monaghan. The teams who received Spirit of the Games awards were Fingal, Westmeath and Waterford.

The teams who scored the highest points on the day also received an award to mark their achievements; Limerick scored highest in Pool A and Westmeath and Waterford were joint winners in Pool B. While the participants do keep score, we pride ourselves that the games is not about the most points but the most fun that competitors get out of the day.

What began as a one-day event in 2012 is now a year-round phenomenon, with older groups training, practicing, competing and coming through heats in their counties in order to compete in the finals in DCU.

Mary Harkin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity in Age & Opportunity was delighted with the great response on the day:

“The Go for Life Games are a real festival of physical activity, a celebration of sport. The kind of energy and enthusiasm that the Games inspire is proof that older people can continue – or even start – to live very healthy, active lives at any age.  Those participating in the games event are also testament to the impact that the Go for Life programme has in local communities, empowering older people to keep fit and healthy on their own terms” says Harkin.

All of the teams, made up from Active Retirement groups, social clubs, Men’s Sheds, sports clubs and other community groups, have been supported by their Local Sports Partnerships.


Go for Life Leagues, Friendly Games

A recent innovation has been the development of Go for Life Leagues, organised by LSPs. The Leagues involve teams from various areas coming together to play each other on a round -robin basis. Leagues can comprise of a minimum of three teams and a maximum of eight teams.

If you /your group wish to take part in Leagues/Friendly Games please contact us on wicklowlsp@wicklowcoco.ie


Go For Life PALs Workshopage

Go for Life is the national programme for sport and physical activity for older people in Ireland. It is run by over 900 volunteers who we call PALs. A PAL is a Physical Activity Leader who is already part of a group or club and is willing to lead activities. PALs lead their local group in things like short exercise routines, fun games, simple dances and sports like pitch and toss. Groups may be an Active Retirement group, a sports club, an ICA group or some social group that meets regularly.


The benefits of having PALs in your group

Groups get great benefits from having a few PALs to lead activities. The group members will:

  • be healthier and happier
  • have more energy
  • attract more members because they offer a greater variety of activities
  • have more chances to meet with other groups
  • take part in more activities with other groups
  • have access to more infomation about the Go For Life programme

Training a PAL from your group

Do you have people in your group who would be interested in leading some physical activities? They don’t have to be very sporty or have a sporting background: they just need to be enthusiastic. We will show a number of people in your group how to become PALs, so that you always have a few people who can lead a session.

Each PAL will come to nine workshops that cover all of the different Go for Life activities. There are routines and activities to suit every member of your group. Each workshop runs for five hours. They are a good mix of theory and practical work. They are also friendly and fun.

Go for Life PALs’ workshops are run in partnership with Local Sports Partnerships and the Health Service Executive. 

To find out where and when the next workshop will be, contact wicklowlsp@wicklowcoco.ie

Here are some important contacts, including your local HSE Co-ordinator and Local Sports Partnership - Go For Life Key Contacts

Upcoming PALs courses:

Clare               October 2017

Kerry               October 2017

Dublin              October 2017

Roscommon      November 2017

Laois                November 2017

To sign up or find out more contact  Ciara on 01 805 7733 or email gfl@ageandopportunity.ie.