Get skipping for Active School Week 2019

By June Shannon Policy News   |   11th Apr 2019

The Irish Heart Foundation’s annual fundraising Skipathon takes place from 07 to 10 May to coincide with Active School Week 2019.

The Irish Heart Foundation is proud to support Active School Week 2019 which this year takes place from Tuesday 07 to Friday 10 May. This year for Active School Week the Irish Heart Foundation is reviving its famous Skipathon.

Skipathon is a fun schools-based fundraising and physical activity campaign that has been inspiring Irish children to keep active for more than 35 years.

As well as being great fun and good for your health, Skipathon also helps raise vital funds for the Irish Heart Foundation and all funds raised will make a significant contribution towards our child health promotion programmes.

Late last year a report from the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI), the national longitudinal study of children, revealed that just one-quarter of nine-year olds reported being physically active for at least 60 minutes every day – the World Health Organisation recommended level of activity for children.

This is why initiatives like Skipathon, and Active School Week are so important as they encourage young people to get active.

Skipathon has been inspiring Irish children to keep active for more than 35 years.


The Irish Heart Foundation has a long tradition of partnering with schools through our Skipathon, CPR 4 Schools Programme and more recently with the hugely successful Y-PATH ‘PE 4 Me’ free physical activity programme for schools.

Active School Week is a Department of Education and Skills’ initiative, supported by Healthy Ireland and co-ordinated from Mayo Education Centre.

The week is also part of the Active School Flag programme, which aims to get more schools, more active, more often. The focus of 2019 Active School Week 2019 is the ‘Mile a Day Challenge’ which encourages every class to commit to an activity that sees them completing a mile a day during Active School Week.

Coupled with the Irish Heart Foundation’s Skipathon, there are a number of other active challenges taking place during the week.

For example, Ireland Active is encouraging schools to ‘Take on the Teachers’ in a sports challenge, schools are asked to replace uniforms with tracksuits and written homework with physical activity and teachers will also be challenged to find ways to energise the school day and reduce the amount of sitting time. Schools will also be encouraged to work with the local community to give students ‘taster sessions’ of the many and varied opportunities there are to be active in the community.

" The Irish Heart Foundation is delighted to support Active School Week again this year with free Let’s Get Active planners and Skipathon ,”

Laura Hickey, Children and Young People Programme Manager , The Irish Heart Foundation

Speaking at the launch of Active School Week recently in Letterkenny Educate Together National School, the Minister for Education Mr Joe McHugh TD said, “Active School Week makes it easy for teachers with fun and inclusive activities that get children more active in schools. Energising the school day brings benefits to teaching and learning in schools, as well as to health and wellbeing.”

The Minister of State with responsibility for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne TD said, “I am delighted to welcome the launch of this year’s Active School Week which provides a great opportunity for schools to bring physical activity into the classroom and the school yard in a practical, fun way. Our schools have enthusiastically signed up to the goals of Healthy Ireland; supporting and encouraging children from a young age to be healthier and more active.”

Commenting, Laura Hickey, Children and Young People Programme Manager with the Irish Heart Foundation said, “Active School Week is a significant week in the school calendar every year. It highlights the importance of the need for children to be active for at least 60 minutes every day for good heart health. The Irish Heart Foundation is delighted to support Active School Week again this year with free Let’s Get Active planners and Skipathon.

If you would like to take part in Skipathon 2019 and help raise funds for the Irish Heart Foundation, please sign up here.


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Active School Week 2019 childhood obesity get active Get skipping Skipathon Y-PATH 4 Me

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