What is the Schools' Fitness Challenge?

Aviva Health’s Schools’ Fitness Challenge is a national fitness challenge for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year pupils in secondary schools throughout Ireland. It will run from January to April 2015, assessing the fitness levels of Irish school children and advocating the improvement of their overall health.

There are three phases to Aviva Health’s Schools’ Fitness Challenge; an initial fitness test, 6 weeks training to improve aerobic fitness and a repeat fitness test. To ensure the programme runs effectively, all scores must be submitted on this website before the various deadlines »

A unique initiative

The Schools’ Fitness Challenge is the first initiative of its kind in Ireland. It aims to highlight the importance of fitness to our future health and help make increasing physical activity a national priority. With almost * 90% of Irish children insufficiently active, and the increasing amount of time children spend doing sedentary activities, our goal is to encourage young people to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle, to positively affect their long term health.

The challenge will be overseen and assessed by exercise physiologist Dr. Sarah Kelly and the creator of the Schools’ Fitness Challenge exercise physiologist, Professor Niall Moyna from the Centre for Preventive Medicine, DCU.

Ensuring the Schools’ Fitness Challenge is a positive experience for schools, teachers and students is very important to us. Fitness for enjoyment is central to the initiative. We want to help improve fitness levels and increase awareness about the importance of being fit in Ireland. The goal of Aviva Health’s Schools’ Fitness Challenge is to reward schools for taking part and not to highlight or embarrass schools, teachers or pupils. The challenge might add an element of fun to improving aerobic fitness.

We will contact the winning schools directly before announcing the winning schools.

Schools must register here by Saturday, 17th January 2015. Schools will receive a registration pack with the bleep test audio on CD and guidelines of how to participate in the Schools’ Fitness Challenge.

* The Children's Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study (CSPPA) (2009) page 14 and 45 by Catherine B. Woods, Niall Moyna, Aoileann Quinlan, Deborah Tannehill, Julia Walsh.

Key Dates

There are three phases to Aviva Health’s Schools’ Fitness Challenge; an initial fitness test, six weeks training to improve aerobic fitness and a repeat fitness test. To ensure the programme runs effectively, all scores must be submitted on this website before the various deadlines.

  • Schools register online to participate. The closing date for entries is Saturday 17th January 2015
  • Schools conduct an initial fitness test and submit scores on this website by Saturday 24th January 2015
  • Schools undertake a six week training programme to improve aerobic fitness. Training programmes must be completed by Friday 6th March 2015.
  • The fitness test is repeated with the same class and the new scores are submitted on this website by Sunday 15th March 2015.

Aviva Health’s Schools’ Fitness Challenge is sponsored by Aviva Health Insurance. It was developed by Dublin City University and the Wellness Economic Initiative Alliance and is supported by Elverys Sports.

Why get involved?

There are so many reasons to get involved. We summarised just a few below.

Categories and Prizes

Schools can choose to enter one of three categories:

1. All Girls' School

2. All Boys' School

3. Mixed School

The Prizes!

There are nine different prize categories, including the prestigious titles of Overall Fittest School and the Overall Most Improved School who will be awarded a Perpetual Cup. Schools also have a chance to win free sports equipment of their choice from Elverys Sports.

  • Ireland’s Fittest Girls' School/Ireland’s Fittest Boys' School/Ireland’s Fittest Mixed School will each win sports equipment of their choice for their school to the value of €500 from Elverys Sports
  • Ireland’s Fittest School Overall will win an additional €500 worth of sports equipment of their choice for their school (total value of €1000) from Elverys Sports
  • Ireland’s Most Improved Girls' School/Ireland’s Most Improved Boys' School/Ireland’s Most Improved Mixed School will each win sports equipment of their choice for their school to the value of €500 from Elverys Sports
  • Ireland’s Most Improved School Overall will win an additional €500 worth of sports equipment of their choice for their school (total value of €1000) from Elverys Sports
  • This year, there’s an additional Teacher Prize of a €500 Elverys Sports voucher. Each PE teacher who registers a class and completes the Challenge (2 bleep tests and a 6 week fitness programme) will be entered in for the chance to win.

Improve Pupil Health and Fitness

Aviva Health’s Schools’ Fitness Challenge aims to help improve student fitness and health by providing a way to measure fitness and by encouraging students to participate more in physical activity and sport. The Schools’ Fitness Challenge hopes to improve attitudes towards physical activity and exercise. The challenge might add an element of fun to improving aerobic fitness.


Teachers will hopefully reap the long-term benefits

Teachers may see the long-term benefits of their schools' participation in this Challenge. By educating their students of the importance of physical activity, teachers may observe improved concentration levels in the classroom and a potential improvement in academic performance of participating pupils.
 

The Glory!

Winning schools will have an opportunity to participate in media activity to celebrate their success and to help increase awareness of the importance of childhood fitness. This is a positive way to showcase the achievements of the school and the support of the participating teachers.

The Awards

There are nine different prize categories, including the prestigious titles of Fittest School Overall and Most Improved School Overall, who will be awarded a Perpetual Cup.

  1. Fittest School Overall
  2. Most Improved School Overall
  3. Fittest Girls' School
  4. Fittest Boys' School
  5. Fittest Mixed School
  6. Most Improved Girls' School
  7. Most Improved Boys' School
  8. Most Improved Mixed School
  9. Teacher Prize

Ethics

Ensuring the Schools’ Fitness Challenge is a positive experience for the school, teachers and students is very important to us. Fitness for enjoyment is central to the initiative. We want to improve fitness levels and awareness about the importance of being fit in Ireland. The goal of Aviva Health’s Schools’ Fitness Challenge is to reward schools for taking part and not to highlight or embarrass schools, teachers or pupils. We will contact the winning schools directly before announcing the winning schools.

Aviva Health’s Schools’ Fitness Challenge must be undertaken with integrity through the use of rigorous methods.

Participating schools and their teacher(s) must ensure that the involvement of people as participants in this challenge is always fully justified and if so, there is a duty to protect the wellbeing, dignity and privacy of individuals and their fitness scores.

Participating schools and their teacher(s) must also accurately represent and submit bleep test results online on the official challenge website in accordance with challenge deadlines.
 

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