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Update on progress of National Physical Activity Plan

The National Physical Activity Plan Implementation Summary Report 2019 has been jointly launched by Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Frank Feighan and Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Sport Jack Chambers.

The report’s publication had been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister Feighan said: “While the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 emergency have impacted on sports facilities, team sports and other sporting activities, research published by Sport Ireland in mid-2020 shows that individual adult activity levels had risen, with more people participating in walking, cycling, running and outdoor swimming.”

Emphasising the importance of physical activity in the context of the response to Covid-19, the Minister said: “The current #KeepWell national campaign has included ‘Keeping Active’ as one of its five major themes. This is in clear recognition of the role of physical activity in supporting positive mental health and improving mood and reducing anxiety, in addition to keeping people fit and healthy.”

He added: “Sport Ireland is leading a series of initiatives that will support people in keeping active and exercising within their own local areas throughout the Spring and I would urge people to find out how to be active in their area by visiting the Keep Well and Sport Ireland websites.“

Minister Chambers said: “The progress made in the implementation of the National Physical Activity Plan, which is overseen in partnership, led by our two Departments, is a great example of the kind of cross sectoral and cross Departmental cooperation which is delivering results across the areas of health, wellbeing and sport. I look forward to this cooperation continuing to deliver in the years ahead.”

“Sport can offer so much to young and old alike and we have seen throughout the pandemic how much it has been missed. Sport Ireland, our NGBs [national governing bodies] and our Local Sports Partnerships have contributed greatly to the collective effort in keeping people physically active and well. We will continue to work closely with other Governments and agencies in promoting sport and physical activity.”

Get Ireland Active – The National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) was published in 2016 as a key policy component of Healthy Ireland, the national Framework for improved health and wellbeing. The NPAP contains 60 actions intended to promote increased physical activity levels across the population.

Initiatives underway include the Active School Flag programme and national strategies for walking and cycling. Increasing physical activity levels in children and young people is a key focus. Improving physical activity levels in women and girls has also been identified as an early priority area by the Department of Health’s Women’s Health Taskforce.

Further details are available at the following link  – https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/b60202-national-physical-activity/

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