Physical activity is the first priority area of work for Healthy Ireland. The Healthy Ireland Offaly work plan provides for the delivery of a range of physical activity programmes via partner agencies such as local sports partnerships, national governing bodies of sport and other local partners.
Activities delivered across Offaly to date include: -
In 2017, the Department approved €24,000 for the delivery of sport and physical activity programmes for children, young people, adults and older adults. Offaly Sports Partnership delivered these programmes in conjunction with partner agencies: -
- the schools agility programme based on the SPORTSHALL Athletics decathlon and pentathlon concepts was delivered in eight primary schools for 1,200 pupils by contracted tutors, David Mc Caffrey and Conor Mc Namee
- local partners, Offaly Athletics and its network of clubs supported the delivery of a 10 week / 20 session couch to 5k programme across eight locations (Ballyskenach, Banagher, Birr, Clara, Edenderry, Ferbane, Naomh Mhuire in Daingean and Tullamore). 513 adults took part in the programme.
In 2018, the Department approved €25,000 for the delivery of sport and physical activity programmes for children, young people, adults and older adults. Offaly Sports Partnership delivered these programmes in conjunction with partner agencies: -
1. a schools 20 min daily physical activity challenge (based on the daily mile concept) was piloted in five primary schools for 490 pupils by Sarah McCarthy. Key outcomes of the pilot project included: -
- improved “fit class” scores were more prominent among 2nd to 4th class pupils
- the programme contributed to reductions in body size composition of some children who were overweight or obese. The reductions in body size composition were more prominent among boys at a 10.29% reduction; as opposed to girls at a 2.08% reduction
- 93% of teachers observed an improvement in their pupils' concentration during class
- 80% of teachers observed an improvement in some their pupils' academic performances
2. supported by Offaly Athletics, a couch to 3k programme was delivered for 480 teenagers across six post primary schools - Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore; Killina Secondary School; Oaklands Community College, Edenderry; Sacred Heart School, Tullamore; St Brendan’s Community School, Birr; St Mary’s Secondary School, Edenderry. Three 3k events were held while there was a significant increase in participation by the schools targeted in the South Leinster Schools Cross Country and Track & Field Championships. There was also a significant effect on participation by young people in local athletics clubs with figures in March 2019 compared to March 2018 showing an increase in youth membership in the Tullamore Harriers membership of 36% and Edenderry Athletics Club of 26%
3. supported by the sports partnership's Community Sports Development and Sports Inclusion Development Officers, a range of recreational sporting programmes for 440 older adults was delivered. Among the programmes delivered were an older adult in sport festival day and three six week physical activity programmes for older adults in various communities throughout Offaly.