First Steps are the Hardest

Anna Geary, seven-time All-Ireland Winner and 2014 All-Ireland Cork Camogie Captain, together with Ireland and Munster Rugby legend Alan Quinlan, reprised their roles as coaches on Ireland’s Fittest Family by teaming up yesterday to launch Ireland’s second National Fitness Day on Friday, 29th September.

National Fitness Day aims to promote the benefits of physical activity whilst showcasing the range of opportunities that are available for people to get active right around the country.

Ireland Active, the representative body for Ireland’s leisure, health and fitness sector, are spearheading the initiative supported by Sport Ireland and Healthy Ireland.

Around 100 participating Ireland Active members will open their facilities offering free activities on National Fitness Day, hosting a range of taster sessions for people of all ages.

Yoga, aqua-aerobics, group exercise, Pilates, Boxercise and fitness training are some of the activities that will be made available for people to try on the day.

All the events will be run by qualified and registered fitness instructors. Ireland Active will also be offering free membership to participating leisure centres and gyms as prizes to some of those who get involved on the day.

This year there will be a particular focus on schools with a ‘Take on the Teachers’ challenge being held, pitting students and teachers against each other in fun games and activities with prizes to be won for the best school competition photo.

“Physical activity is essential to health and well-being,” said Conn McCluskey, CEO of Ireland Active.

“Adults require 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times each week to maintain their health.”

“Children need 60 minutes of vigorous activity, but Only 32% of Irish adults, 19% of primary school students and 12% of secondary school students meet these minimum criteria to maintain health and well-being.”

“National Fitness Day is a part of the European Week of Sport, it’s being celebrated right across Europe and we’re delighted to roll out the initiative for the second time in Ireland.”

“I have seen first-hand the positive impact of regular physical activity on the health and wellbeing of people no matter what their age,” added Geary.

“We see this in Ireland’s Fittest Family where every member of the family contributes. I am delighted to support National Fitness Day which will hopefully highlight the many ways in which people can get physically active.”

Minister of State at the Department of Health, Catherine Byrne TD said:

“Physical Activity has a key role to play in maintaining and improving public health,” said Minister of State at the Department of Health Catherine Byrne, TD.

“The National Physical Activity Strategy sets out our ambition to get more people more active more often. The first step is often the most difficult so this is a great opportunity for people to do just that.”

“Participation in sport and physical activity a key strategic priority for us,” said Una May, Director of Participation and Ethics at Sport Ireland.

“The value of participating in sport and physical activity cannot be underestimated and even small improvements in participation levels will confer health, social and economic benefits both for the individual and for society as a whole.”

Information on the opportunities to be provided throughout the country can be found on

Sport Ireland are one of the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community.  

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