- The Olympic Federation of Ireland and the Active School Flag programmes work together to get Irish primary school pupils more active
- Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education Thomas Byrne TD Launches Initiative
The Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Minister Thomas Byrne TD, today launched the Olympic Movement Breaks with the Olympic Federation of Ireland. The initiative will see the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Dare to Believe programme working alongside the Active School Flag Programme in creating exciting opportunities for primary school pupils to be more physically active.
The Olympic Movement Breaks is an easy-to-use format, with a series of short videos led by Olympians and High-Performance athletes demonstrating fun exercises and activities that students of all abilities can do. The short videos, across a variety of different sports including athletics, boxing, rugby sevens, swimming, breakdancing, and para powerlifting, will help generate classroom-based movement opportunities.
With a shared goal of highlighting the many fun benefits of being more active, Dare to Believe and the Active School Flag Programme are using the Olympic Movement Breaks to encourage schools to take part in a four-week ‘Active Break Every Day’ challenge. Twelve athletes lead easy and fun exercises that range between 3-5 minutes and require no additional resources.
Regular movement for children brings many benefits to the teaching and learning process, and following these high-performance athletes is a great way for young people to see some of the athletes who will represent Ireland in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games next summer.
Teachers will have access to a challenge chart where they can check off videos that their class completes each day during the 4-week challenge, which runs from Monday, 13 November through to Friday, 8 December.
Furthermore, additional resources will be available alongside the videos where children can learn more about the athletes featured in the videos, by reading their bios and information on their respective Olympic sport. They also will learn about Olympic history and values and have the option of participating in a fun Olympic quiz at the end of each week.
The OFI Dare to Believe programme is supported by PTSB, the official sponsor of Team Ireland at the Paris 2024 Olympics. The Olympic Movement Breaks were created by the Dare to Believe co-founders Roisin Jones and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas with input from the Olympic athletes who participated in the programme, and with input from several teacher consultants.
Launching the Olympic Movement Breaks, Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne, said: “I am delighted to officially launch the Olympic Movement Breaks with the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Dare to Believe Programme and the Active School Flag Programme working together to address the challenges of decreasing levels of physical activity among our youth.
“It shows what can be done when Government departments and agencies work together for a common goal.
“The Olympic Movement Breaks have been developed to encourage primary schools to get involved in the Active Break Every Day Challenge, held annually by the Active School Flag Programme. The aim of the Active School Flag Programme is to get more schools, more active, more often, and the Olympic Movement Breaks will certainly support schools in this ambition in a fun and inclusive way.
“Building movement opportunities, such as these, into the school day creates positive impacts for our primary school pupil’s physical health and mental wellbeing, it also brings benefits to the teaching and learning processes. I would encourage all schools around the country to take part in this initiative and I look forward to hearing about school experiences in this fun and exciting challenge.”
Dare to Believe was co-founded by Beijing 2008 Olympian Roisin McGettigan-Dumas and Roisin Jones. Speaking at the launch of the Olympic Movement Breaks, the latest initiative from the PTSB-sponsored programme, Roisin Jones said: “Dare to Believe is delighted to partner with Active Flags to deliver its latest fun but functional initiative for primary schools: ‘Olympic Movement Breaks’.
“Promising research indicates that short active movement breaks are shown to help students academically and emotionally as well as physically, so we want to help students to get in their learning zones! That’s why we’ve created over 20 Olympic Movement Breaks.
“We encourage teachers to use our Olympic Movement Breaks whenever their students need to take five to reset and refocus. It will give kids an introduction to Team Ireland Olympic athletes and challenge them to do some sort of sport-related activity.”
Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton T.D., said: “The promotion of physical activity for health is one of my Department’s priorities and I am particularly pleased to see any initiative which encourages children and young people to get active and stay active.
“I am very happy to welcome the launch of the Olympic Movement Breaks programme and I encourage everyone to join our Olympic and Paralympic heroes in reaching for a healthy body and mind.”
Registration for the Dare to Believe Olympic Movement Breaks is free of charge and all details can be found on www.daretobelieve.ie