Ireland Active ambassadors, Sene Naoupu and Aidan O’Mahony, were on hand at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena in Dublin today to launch the fifth annual National Fitness Day.
National Fitness Day will take place on September 24th, 2020 and will see people across the country get involved in a host of free healthy and fun activities in leisure centres and gyms – with schools, workplaces and exercise professionals also getting in on the action too. Participating fitness facilities across the country will provide free activities on National Fitness Day to encourage people to be active. Schools will be participating in the ‘Take on the Teacher Challenge’, while workplaces are also invited to be active on the day via virtual classes.
Now in its fifth year, National Fitness Day allows people of all ages the chance to avail of free activities in their local community and a range of taster sessions including yoga, aqua-aerobics, exercise classes, pilates and fitness training, will be run – with social distancing in place. Ireland Active also has gym membership and equipment vouchers on offer, to be distributed to competition winners who get involved in participating leisure centres, gyms, schools and workplaces on the day.
National Fitness Day is spearheaded by Ireland Active and is supported by Sport Ireland, Healthy Ireland and the European Commission. The aim of the annual initiative is to promote the benefits of physical activity for people of all ages across Ireland while also showcasing the fantastic range of sports, facilities, and activity options available for people nationwide. This year, it once more coincides with the European Week of Sport (September 23-30th) which is a Europe-wide event to promote sport and physical activity. Activities will be held indoors, outdoors and virtually, in compliance with government protocols and social distancing guidelines. The delivery of National Fitness Day activities and resources is carried out in partnership with REPs Ireland, Cara and Swim Ireland.
Speaking at the launch of National Fitness Day 2020, Ireland Active ambassador and GAA All-Star, Aidan O’Mahony, said: “I’m thrilled to team up with Ireland Active once more this year to be part of their fifth annual National Fitness Day. As an ambassador for the initiative, I am delighted to help promote the importance of physical activity for people of all ages. Regular exercise is key in order to improve both our physical and mental health and to reduce stress. National Fitness Day is a superb opportunity to highlight the high-quality activities and facilities that are available for people throughout Ireland and I cannot wait to take part on the day!”
National Fitness Day ambassador and Irish rugby international, Sene Naoupu, added: “Sport and fitness are a huge part of my life and have the power to bring communities together in a time when we need it most. Health and fitness have something for everyone: all ages and abilities can find an activity that they enjoy on National Fitness Day and there are many ways to get active. I am delighted to be an ambassador for National Fitness Day 2020 and to share my passion for health, fitness and sport. I encourage everyone to get involved at your local fitness facility, outdoors, school, workplace or with online exercise classes and reap the benefits for themselves!”
Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport, Jack Chambers T.D., stated: “The mental health and well-being of the people of Ireland is more important now than ever before, and initiatives like National Fitness Day support individuals and communities to become more active and lead healthier lives. Exercise is something that everyone should enjoy, and National Fitness Day is a great opportunity to try out a new activity and hopefully find a place to participate in physical activity on a regular basis.”
Minister of State at the Department of Health, Frank Feighan T.D., commented: “I am delighted to give my full support to the promotion of National Fitness Day, which encourages everyone, young and old, to get involved in sport and exercise. This is very much the message of Healthy Ireland, which aims to support individuals and communities to become more active and improve their overall mental and physical health. Leisure centres, gyms and health clubs play a key role in keeping communities across Ireland fit and healthy.”
Also speaking at the launch, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland said: “We are really encouraging everybody to get involved in National Fitness Day on September 24th as part of the European Week of Sport. Increasing participation levels in sport and physical activity is a key priority for Sport Ireland, and National Fitness Day is an excellent initiative that encourages people of all ages and skill levels across Ireland to get active in their local community. I encourage everyone to get involved and experience the benefits of exercise first-hand.”
Conn McCluskey, Chief Executive of Ireland Active, added: “We are delighted to launch the fifth annual National Fitness Day today, which will run as part of the 2020 European Week of Sport. National Fitness Day is a celebration of health and fitness, and we really want to encourage a fit and a physically active nation. Covid-19 has had a major impact on the health and fitness industry in Ireland, but our members have worked tirelessly to ensure staff are trained in all public health protocols and that facilities are equipped and ready to welcome the public into a safe environment for exercise. Physical activity is essential in the fight against the pandemic and to improve outcomes from the disease.”
Information on the activities and participating facilities nationwide can be found on www.nationalfitnessday.ie. Information will also be made available across Ireland Active’s social media channels.