Ulster GAA recently provided Ulster referees with free health checks at a special clinic in Belfast.
The initiative, provided by 3fivetwo Group, provides the provincial panel of referees, from across all nine counties, with the opportunity to undergo a full screening health check free of charge at the start of the new season.
Ulster GAA President Michael Hasson was in attendance on the day and highlighted the vital role of the initiative: "The health and wellbeing of our referees is an important issue for us and we continue to promote healthy lifestyles to all of our members, especially our players and officials who require a high level of fitness to be active on the field during the course of a game. Our championship referees are active for over seventy minutes so these checks are essential.
"The initiative provides important data for Ulster GAA on the general health and fitness of our referees but it also provides the individual referees with an opportunity to detect any unknown health problems, which could allow for preventative treatment and advice."
Monaghan referee Anthony Marron has benefited from Ulster GAA's provision of these health checks as a potentially fatal heart condition was detected at a previous testing session. Anthony was found to have a condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, which affects electrical pathways between the upper and lower chambers of the heart. WPW can cause an irregular heartbeat and could lead to potential sudden death in some people, who may be unaware that they have the condition.
Anthony went on to seek further medical tests after his Ulster GAA health check and this led to him undergoing a successful corrective procedure that has allowed him to return to full fitness and his refereeing duties at county and provincial levels.