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Schools shape up on physical education, sport and fitness

Schools shape up on physical education, sport and fitness

A host of Irish sports stars gathered at Dublin City University to call on second level students throughout the country to get on board with PEXPO, the annual competition which aims to promote physical education, sport and fitness amongst young people.

Dublin’s All-Ireland winning duo, James McCarthy and Jonny Cooper joined with pupils from Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun and Tullow Community School, Carlow to launch PEXPO, which will take place in DCU Sport on March 7th, 2018.

Post-primary school pupils are invited to submit research projects, at junior and senior level, in a number of categories such as the power of sport; components of fitness, nutrition, games development, health promotion and performance psychology.

The overall winners of the 2017 PEXPO, Colaiste Muire, Cobh, were also in attendance to showcase their award winning entry MEMO (Move Early, Move Often), a website which promotes and demonstrates the value of getting children active from an early age.

Previous entries have included the following themes:

A study of Hawk Eye and goal line technology

Does sport affect your grades?

Publicity in sport between men and women

Sudden adult death syndrome

The effect of music on sporting performance

The chemistry of energy drinks

To submit a project, visit

This is the fourth year of the event, originally devised by Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun and supported by Dublin City University, the Physical Education Association of Ireland, Celtic Sports Academy and the Herald.

Dr David Passmore, Dublin City University School of Health and Human Performance said:

“We are delighted to host such a forward thinking and progressive initiative for school students. Research of any nature really captures the imagination of young people and for DCU to be able to be a part of the expansion of PEXPO is fantastic.

We look forward to meeting and welcoming schools and their students from all over Ireland in March next year and we will be supporting students with the development of their ideas for projects.”

Dr. SarahJane Belton, Chair of Physical Education with Maths/Biology programmes, School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University said:

“We are all aware of the health problems facing society and the fact that so many of these can be traced back to poor levels of physical activity.

Physical education at school offers such an important opportunity and tool for us as a society to address parts of this problem - and time and time again we see PE professionals setting up initiatives such as the PEXPO in that respect.

PE is not the cause of society's ills, not in any respect, but it is in a unique position to be a huge part of the solution; and PE teachers really go above and beyond to try to make that happen.

The new Wellbeing programme at Junior Cycle with such a strong PE element, along with the imminent implementation of the new Senior Cycle and Leaving Certificate PE programmes, makes it a really exciting time for PE in Ireland.

PEXPO is an initiative that really captures the imagination, hard work, and enthusiasm of students and teachers for PE - I'm looking forward to seeing what is presented at this years event.”

President of Physical Education Association of Ireland (PEAI), Brendan O’Malley said:

“The PEAI are delighted to continue our endorsement, promotion and sponsorship of PEXPO for 2018.

Any platform where students can showcase their love, dedication and motivation for physical education can only be viewed as a huge positive.

It is a great indication of the quality teaching in physical education throughout this country, and for this, the students and teachers should be very proud of their efforts.

Staging the event in DCU showcases the growth of the project and allows students the opportunity to see one of the premier sports campuses in Ireland, which will only add to their motivation for years to come.”

Patrick O’Reilly, Trinity Comprehensive, Ballymun and founders of PEXPO said:

“We see PEXPO 2018 as a great opportunity for second level students to investigate aspects of Physical Education and subsequently present projects, in the company of peers, and judged by experts in the PE area, all in the wonderful surrounds of DCU Sport.”

4th October, 2017