SuperValu Focus on Movement and Balls

SuperValu launched its ninth year as sponsor of the GAA All Ireland Senior Football Championships yesterday with a pledge and a programme to combat the lack of exercise amongst Ireland’s families.

The retailer, for who GAA is an integral part of all its marketing from local retailer through to national level will distribute 55,000 footballs around the country, the same number as it did in 2017 and making a number that equates roughly to one for every eight-year-old boy and girl in the country.

Take Ten will be a content campaign encouraging families to take ten-minute bursts of daily exercise and get #BehindTheBall.

SuperValu also commissioned specific research from its own Consumer Insight & Analytics Team and has created The SuperValu Move More Index.

This explores attitudes towards physical activity and represents a valuable additional tool to wider research continually under way through Sport Ireland’s Peter Smyth and others linking physical activity and the role of sport with the health debate.

Screen Time

It shows that Irish parents’ number one concern regarding their children is “the time they are spending in front of a screen”. 60% of parents confirmed that they’re either concerned that their children are spending too much time on their smartphones, tablets, laptops or even watching the TV instead of playing sports and getting exercise.

Because of this worrying trend, while 95% of parents say they encourage their children to partake in sports, a substantial 38% don’t think their children are getting enough exercise.

64% of parents are struggling to get their children to exercise and play more sport because their children prefer to play video games, have a general lack of interest in sport or children prefer to be online, connecting with friends on their devices.

Furthermore, there appears to be somewhat of an over-reliance on the schools as an outlet for children’s exercise routines as 73% of parents stated that their children do most of their exercise at school with less than half of respondents claiming that their children exercise at home.

With concerns over the amount of quality physical education is actually available in schools and a patchy disparity between those to the fore doing the Daily Mile programme and others preventing running in playgrounds over insurance concerns, that is a mixed way to rely on exercise.


There is also a clear disparity between what people say they want to do and value and what they actually do, even when the control is within their grasp.

Although 82% believe that it is important to undertake regular exercise with their children, only 28% exercise “occasionally” with their family despite the fact that the majority consider that “spending quality time together” as the main benefit of exercising as a family.

Specifically, whilst Irish adults (70%) consider exercise to be important in their weekly routine, only 28% are getting the recommended daily exercise of 30 minutes. The advised guidelines for adults in Ireland is to take 30 minutes of exercise daily and 60 minutes for children, ideally in 10-minute bursts.

In direct response to this, SuperValu has developed a programme built around ten-minute bursts of exercise including a series of Take Ten fitness videos featuring the stars of GAA, which will be designed to showcase a range of exercises and games which will encourage families to undertake more exercise together.

The videos will be released throughout the summer months across the Football Championship.


“We work tirelessly to ensure that our GAA partnership has a direct impact on our local communities, enabling us to become a genuine force for building healthier communities in Ireland,” said Des O’Mahony, SuperValu Marketing Director.

“This year, we aim to inspire the nation to get Behind the Ball and spend more time exercising together as a family.”

“We will be enabling this by giving away a further 55,000 balls to children around the country bringing it to a total of 110,000 by the end of 2018 – the largest ball giveaway in the history of the state”

“I can think of few better ways to encourage people – especially our young people – to engage in exercise than by giving them a football and in that context SuperValu’s campaign is to be lauded,” said GAA president John Horan in response.

“We cannot overstate the importance of healthy lifestyles and the role of exercise and to that end the novel aspect to this initiative is very welcome.”

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Image Credit James Crombie, Inpho Photography

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