Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Clare Cllr. Cathal Crowe says his party will be bringing forward new proposals to improve fitness and activity levels in school going children.  The proposals come on foot of a new survey from Irish Life Health, which uncovered some startling results related to children’s fitness levels.

Cllr. Crowe, who is a primary school teacher at Parteen N.S., explained, “This survey should act as a wake-up call for educators, parents and the government alike.  The findings revealed a significant decline in school age fitness.  In some cases, the cardiovascular health of inactive 15 year olds was comparable to 55 and 60 year olds.  This is shocking.

“For too long our education system has failed to recognise the importance of PE and physical activity and it has often been viewed as a second-class or less important subject.  This mind-set needs to change, particularly as obesity is increasing and our children’s physical health is declining.  Unless we begin to tackle this now, we will be facing a major health epidemic further down the road.

“Fianna Fáil will put forward detailed proposals to address these challenges including a survey of the available resources for PE across schools, putting in place the foundations to ensure that facilities can meet the curriculum standards, ensuring that all children participate and providing travelling PE teachers for schools without the resources to employ a full time teacher.

“The current system is not fulfilling the needs of students, and unless it is addressed, it could lead to serious health implications for children as they get older.  We want to encourage healthy lifestyles and schools can provide the opportunity to incorporate fitness and wellbeing into kids’ daily routines.

“We will be working with teachers and health professionals to devise a programme that is accessible and affordable for schools.  Unless we make a concerted effort now to incorporate physical activity and healthier lifestyles into our children’s school routine we will be facing major health issues in the years to come”.