Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, and Dublin GAA star Bryan Cullen announced the winners of Aviva Health’s Schools Fitness Challenge 2013. Ireland’s Fittest School is Oaklands Community College, Edenderry, Co Offaly. The Fittest School and Most Improved School, Abbey C.B.S, Tipperary, attended a special awards ceremony at Aviva Stadium.
The national challenge, developed by Professor Niall Moyna in Dublin City University and the Wellness Economic Initiative Alliance, invited all secondary schools throughout the country to join in making physical fitness a national priority, by assessing the fitness levels of 1st and 2nd year school children over a six week period and advocating for improvements in their overall health.
A total of 8,047 1st and 2nd year students (4,390 boys and 3,657 girls), and 219 schools from 24 counties across Ireland successfully completed Aviva Health’s Schools Fitness Challenge. The results show large improvements in fitness were observed among the students after a relatively short period of exercise intervention – as little as six weeks.
Oaklands Community College completed an average of 89 shuttle runs to be named the Ireland’s Fittest School while Abbey C.B.S, Tipperary, were named as the Most Improved School, completing an average of 51 shuttle runs pre-training and 82 shuttle runs post-training, representing a significant 60% increase in fitness levels over the six week period.