The gap in the market linking sport with schools left by the end of the Sky Living for Sport initiative is to be filled by a new social enterprise that has been successful in Britain and is now coming to Ireland.
Sports for Schools is committed to encouraging children and their families across Ireland to get fit and active. It’s stated social mission is to put physical fitness on the same level of importance as mental wellbeing and academic excellence.
According to its website, it has five guiding principles:
• To do our bit to encourage children to live a healthy life
• To inspire, challenge and excite children into more sport
• To encourage “I can’t” to become “I can”
• To create worthwhile and well-rewarded careers
• To do the right thing
They are noble aims and it is a good thing that the programme is being brought to Ireland for the first time. It visits 1,300 schools in Britain and has touched the lives of 350,000 children there.
Subway has been announced as sponsors of the Irish programme, extending a relationship they already have in the UK and the programme was launched last week by Irish International and Ulster Rugby star, Tommy Bowe.
As the official sponsor of Sports for Schools, the Subway brand will help to enable primary school children to do more physical activity whilst assisting schools in raising money for PE equipment.
The scheme gives school children direct access to extraordinary British and Irish Olympic and Paralympic athletes and professional athletes who run fun fitness circuits, suitable for all levels to participate in, and give motivational talks, all of which get the children (and their teachers) engaged and excited about taking part in a sport.
“It’s brilliant to be involved in an initiative that encourages kids to get fit and active through sports,” said Bowe at the launch.
“Sports for Schools has been a great success across the water and I’m delighted to see it’s now being rolled out in Ireland.”
“We’re proud to announce our partnership with Sports for Schools and look forward to inspiring children to play more sport, as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to encouraging more families to get active together,” added Sacha Clark, Marketing Director for the Subway brand UK and Ireland.
“It’s great to welcome the Subway brand in supporting our mission to put physical activity on a par with numeracy and literacy in primary schools,” said Sports for Schools Founder Michael Ledzion.
“We look forward to working with them on a number of exciting new initiatives over the coming years.”
PwC, the GAA and the Gaelic Players Association are among the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community.
Image Credit Inpho Morgan Treacy