Fianna Fáil to bring forward detailed proposals to improve fitness in school-age children

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne TD, has said there needs to be a fundamental change in the approach taken towards fitness and wellbeing for children of all ages in schools. Deputy Byrne was commenting following the publication of Irish Life Health’s annual fitness challenge results.

Deputy Byrne explained, “The report findings which indicate a significant decline in school-age fitness just goes to show the urgent need for change. To think that the cardiovascular health of some inactive 15-year-olds is comparable to that of 55 to 60-year-olds is just frightening.

“PE has long lagged behind other subjects when it comes to the focus of the Department of Education. In the context of a growing crisis in our children’s health, the time has come to reinvigorate it as a subject, giving it the prominence it needs.

“Fianna Fáil will put forward detailed proposals to address these challenges including a survey of the available resources for PE across schools, putting in place the foundations to ensure that facilities can meet the curriculum standards, ensuring that all children participate and providing travelling PE teachers for schools without the resources to employ a full time teacher.

“School children are not getting the level of exercise they need and this is leading to long term health issues and shorter lifespans. They are not getting to experience the benefits of participating in physical activity. Being out in the fresh air or taking part in team sports provides benefits to both physical and mental health. We owe it to school children to reduce the burden of overweight or mental ill health which they could experience in the future”, concluded Deputy Byrne.

Fianna Fáil

Thomas Byrne TD

Spokesperson on Education

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