The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, launched Active Schools Week (ASW) 2015 on 20th April 2015 in Our Lady’s National School Adare Co. Limerick, supported by the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Jointly sponsored by the Department of Education and Skills and Healthy Ireland, it reflects their commitment to the promotion of students’ well-being and interests. All schools, primary, post primary and Youthreach centres are encouraged to include the Week as part of their annual school calendar. It is also an integralpart of the Active School Flag initiative which recognises schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community. To date over 480 schools have been awarded the Active School Flag.
Highlighting her support for the project, Minister O’Sullivan said: “I would encourage schools across the country to get more active. It is a wonderful opportunity for promoting physical activity and raising awareness of Physical Education. I hope that all schools will get involved and I would ask that schools and parents encourage students to participate. We know how important it is to be physically active and I believe that Active Schools Week can enhance the PE experience of children and young people.”
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar welcomed the launch of Active School Week saying: “I’m really keen to promote more physical activity in schools. Children who are active from an early age are more likely to live healthy and happy lives, and society as a whole will benefit. Sport and physical activity have so many benefits for physical and mental health and wellbeing. The Active School Week is a great opportunity for the whole-school community to work together and be more physically active, and create a more Healthy Ireland”
The Federation of Irish Sport and many National Governing Bodies of Sport are lending their support to the Initiative, and will work with schools to help promote physical activity and to raise awareness about the physical activity opportunities available in every community. Ireland Active leisure centers are also demonstrating their support for ASW by offering complimentary swim passes, class passes and use of their facilities to local schools.
Healthy Ireland is the national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing for people living in Ireland. Its main focus is on prevention and keeping people healthier for longer.
The Active School Flag is administered and based in Mayo Education Centre, Castlebar, Co Mayo. For further information visit http://www.activeschoolflag.ie/home.html