About The Challenge

Since 2013, the Schools’ Fitness Challenge has helped Irish students become fitter, faster and more energetic. The Schools’ Fitness Challenge invites secondary schools throughout the country to join us in highlighting the importance of fitness to our future health and to make increasing physical activity a national priority. At Irish Life Health, our aim is that young people will adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle, which will positively benefit their long term health. Irish Life Health is committed to supporting the Schools’ Fitness Challenge as it continues to be rolled out across Ireland this year, working in close partnership with Dublin City University.

Why is Irish Life Health involved in the Schools’ Fitness Challenge?

Irish children simply aren’t as fit as they should be – and this could seriously affect their health and how they perform in school. In fact, studies show that 86% of young people in Ireland don’t meet current physical activity recommendations. Less than 15% of 10-18 year olds do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day – the minimum amount recommended by the Department of Health and Children. The Schools’ Fitness Challenge aims to change this. Building on work in previous years, it invites secondary schools to help students become more aware, more active – and improve their health in the process. Who is behind the challenge? Schools’ Fitness Challenge creator Professor Niall Moyna from the Centre for Preventive Medicine, Dublin City University will oversee this year’s Challenge.

Who is behind the challenge?

Schools’ Fitness Challenge creator Professor Niall Moyna from the Centre for Preventive Medicine, Dublin City University will oversee this year’s Challenge.

Professor Niall Moyna

Niall is a Professor in the School of Health and Human Performance and a member of the Centre for Preventive Medicine in Dublin City University.

He received his Master’s degree from Purdue University, Indiana, PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, and completed a three year National Institute of Health Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre.

He was Director of the Clinical Exercise Research Laboratory in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre and later moved to Connecticut to take a position as a Senior Research Scientist in Nuclear and Preventive Cardiology at Hartford Hospital. He has published over 100 research papers in international peer-reviewed journals and presented his work at international conferences.

Niall is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and has a keen interest in all sports, especially Gaelic football and athletics.

One of their aims is to make the Challenge a positive experience for everyone involved. So while schools are rewarded for taking part, no one will be embarrassed and individual performances won’t be highlighted.

Participation

Since 2013, over 200,000 secondary school children from all over Ireland have participated in the Schools Fitness Challenge.

Irish Life Health is committed to supporting the continued roll out of the Schools Fitness Challenge to schools and classes throughout Ireland this year, working in close partnership with Dublin City University.