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National Fitness Day Press Release

07 September, 2017


Ireland Active leisure centres and gyms are offering free gym and swim sessions and group activities on Friday, 29th September 

Regional events planned for towns and cities around Ireland

Dublin, 6th September 2017: Anna Geary, seven-time All-Ireland Winner and 2014 All-Ireland Cork Captain and Ireland and Munster Rugby legend Alan Quinlan, both coaches on Ireland’s Fittest Family, teamed up to launch Ireland’s second National Fitness Day on Friday, 29th September.

National Fitness Day aims to promote the benefits of physical activity whilst showcasing the range of opportunities that are available for people to get active right around the country. Ireland Active, the representative body for Ireland’s leisure, health and fitness sector, are spearheading the initiative supported by Sport Ireland and Healthy Ireland.

Participating Ireland Active members will open their facilities offering free activities on National Fitness Day hosting a range of taster sessions for people of all ages. Yoga, aqua-aerobics, group exercise, Pilates, boxercise and fitness training are just some of the activities that will be made available for people to try on the day. All the events will be run by qualified and registered fitness instructors. Ireland Active will also be offering free membership to participating leisure centres and gyms as prizes to some of those who get involved on the day.


This year there will be a particular focus on schools with the ‘Take on the Teachers’ challenge being held, pitting students and teachers against each other in fun games and activities with prizes to be won for the best school competition photo.

Physical activity is essential to health and well-being. Adults require 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times each week to maintain their health. Children need 60 minutes of vigorous activity. Only 32% of Irish adults, 19% of primary school students and 12% of secondary school students meet these minimum criteria to maintain health and well-being.

Leisure and fitness facilities are Ireland’s favourite place to be active. Almost half a million Irish adults are gym users. Personal exercise is the most popular form of sport in Ireland with 13.8% of the population over 16 years old engaging in some form of personal exercise or fitness each week. This has increased by 7% from 2007. (Irish Sports Monitor, 2015 & Eurobarometer, 2014).


National Fitness Day ambassador, Anna Geary commented at the launch:

“I have benefitted so much from being active throughout my life be it the friends I have made from sport or how staying fit and being active continues to help me with daily life. I have seen first-hand the positive impact of regular physical activity on the health & wellbeing of people no matter what their age. We see this in Ireland’s Fittest Family where every member of the family contributes. I am delighted to support National Fitness Day which will hopefully highlight the many ways in which people can get physically active and as a qualified Performance and Wellness Coach I constantly speak about the importance of activity for a healthy mind too. There really is something for everyone and I would encourage everyone to get involved in National Fitness Day’s ‘come and try’ activities.”


National Fitness Day ambassador, Alan Quinlan said:

“Physical activity is so important in keeping a healthy body and mind. When you look after your physical health you feel better in yourself and this contributes enormously to your mental fitness.”


Minister of State at the Department of Health, Catherine Byrne TD said:

“Physical Activity has a key role to play in maintaining and improving public health. The National Physical Activity Strategy sets out our ambition to get more people more active more often. Often however, it is the first step that is the most difficult. We are therefore delighted to support National Fitness Day, the opportunities it will provide for people to try facilities within your local community and would encourage people to get involved.”


Una May, Director of Participation and Ethics, Sport Ireland said:

“Participation in sport and physical activity a key strategic priority for Sport Ireland. We are delighted to support National Fitness Day and I would encourage everyone to get involved. The value of participating in sport and physical activity cannot be underestimated; even small improvements in participation levels will confer health, social and economic benefits both for the individual and for society as a whole.”


Conn McCluskey, Chief Executive of Ireland Active said:

“National Fitness Day is a part of the European Week of Sport, it’s being celebrated right across Europe and we’re delighted to roll out the initiative for the second time in Ireland. We’re encouraging everyone to go along to their local leisure facility, gym or park and try out some of the free activities on offer such as spin classes, boxercise, zumba, yoga, gym sessions and group exercise classes. National Fitness Day is an opportunity for everyone to try out a new physical activity and who knows it might be an activity that you continue to participate in long after National Fitness Day is over.”


Information on the opportunities to be provided throughout the country can be found on Information will also be made available across Ireland' Active's social media channels @fitnessdayIRL,  @irelandactive,  


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