There was much excitement in St Joseph’s National School, Longford on Thursday last, as the school officially ended their six-week fitness drive.
Run to coincide with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation, the initiative encouraged parents, staff and pupils to improve their fitness levels.
Local man Brendan Doyle has been working with the pupils from first to sixth class, training in athletics and jogging. Speaking to the Leader, Home School Community Liaison Teacher, Kathleen O’Brien, says of Brendan, “He has been absolutely brilliant with the kids. They love him, he’s just so good at engaging with the kids.”
The junior classes had the chance to do fitness activities and junior athletics, learning to ‘step it up’ in class with their teachers.
To launch the initiative, Brendan visited the school to speak about the initiative. Following Brendan’s talk, Kathleen adds, the students were very excited to get started. That weekend, families in the school community were encouraged to take part in a 5K canal walk, which Brendan happily reports was very well attended by the pupils. “They’re a great bunch of kids” he explained. “Very enthusiastic for sports!”
The six-week initiative all lead up to a final event in the Mall last Thursday, as Kathleen explains that the children were going “from zero to 2k”. Fifth and sixth class pupils completed a 2k run before being presented with their certificates of achievement.
“The staff haven’t got off the hook either” Kathleen laughs.
Staff members have been attending circuit classes in Longford Fitness for the past number of weeks, something which they hope to continue once their current session ends.
“They’re the fittest staff in the county!” Kathleen jokes, adding that the whole initiative had “brought the whole school community together”.