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Dublin City University and RTÉ's The John Murray Show roll out All-Island First Year Fitness Challenge to second-level schools


Dublin City University and RTÉ's The John Murray Show roll out All-Island First Year Fitness Challenge to second-level schools

RTE John Murray and Professor Niall Moyna

Dublin City University has joined forces with RTÉ Radio 1's The John Murray Show to launch the First Year Fitness Challenge for schools throughout the island of Ireland. By getting fit and beating the Bleep Test, first year secondary students could win €1000 towards their Physical Education Programme, and a place on a three-day live-in sports and activity camp at DCU.

The initiative, spearheaded by Professor Niall Moyna, of DCU's School of Health & Human Performance, aims to transform the fitness levels of our schoolchildren and encourage them to adopt healthy behaviour patterns at an early age. Through the School and its Sports Academy, DCU has demonstrated a commitment to the promotion of physical activity as an integral part of an individual's education.

As part of Operation Transformation 2012, Professor Moyna is currently running a challenge to a fifth year Class in Athlone Community College to pass a 'Bleep Test', a 20m shuttle-run test used to determine cardiovascular fitness. The challenge has been extended to schools on an all-Ireland basis to ascertain the level of fitness of first year secondary school students and to demonstrate how improving cardiovascular fitness can prevent heart disease, early onset of obesity and associated health problems.

Professor Moyna said,

'Heart disease is currently one of the biggest killers in Ireland and its causes can all be positively affected by exercise. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that one of the best predictors of how healthy you are and how long you are going to live is cardiovascular fitness. It's clear that fitness is the key to tackling the obesity epidemic and its associated health problems.'

He continued,

'In recent years, activity has been engineered out of our lives and it's vital that we introduce initiatives to increase children's activity levels. Society has a responsibility to ensure that young people understand the importance of being fit and taking regular exercise. By introducing children to healthy patterns of behaviour in first-year, there is a strong chance these lessons will be carried into adult life.'

Watch Professor Moyna on Operation Transformation,!v=1132842
Listen to John Murray interview Professor Moyna on The John Murray Show, RTÉ Radio 1 (9-10 am, Monday to Friday).

16th January, 2012