Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Sport Jack Chambers TD today launched Sport Ireland’s Your Personal Best Month, which will run throughout November, aimed at getting men over 45 more physically active.
Also present at the launch were Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy and Professor Niall Moyna, Head of the School of Health and Human Performance at Dublin City University. Actor and broadcaster Simon Delaney and former Ireland rugby international John Hayes are also acting as campaign ambassadors.
Repeated studies, including Sport Ireland’s most recent Irish Sports Monitor, have consistently shown that males aged over 45, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, are amongst those least likely to be active. As a result, they suffer from worse health, mental and physical, and are more likely to die younger, than the rest of the population.
Your Personal Best Month is an exciting project encouraging men to stop making excuses and to engage in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week. The campaign is being supported by various sporting National Governing Bodies such as Cycling Ireland, Athletics Ireland, Get Ireland Walking and Swim Ireland, who will provide information, advice and programmes for men who want to become more active with resources available at www.sportireland.ie/. The campaign is also being supported by the nationwide network of Local Sport Partnerships, who will provide practical support on the ground.
Sport Ireland’s Irish Sports Monitor 2019 revealed that only one in four men aged 45-54 meet the World Health Organisation’s recommended 150 minute of exercise per week. On average, men of this age are physically active for just 87 minute per week or 12 minute per day, with one in six not participating in any sport or exercise.
Socio-economic standing influences activity levels; those with the highest education and income are twice as likely to play sports than those the poorest backgrounds who, in turn, are the most likely to lead sedentary lives with 16% claiming to take no form of exercise.
Minster Chambers said: “The positive role that sport and physical activity play in our health and physical wellbeing as a nation should never be underestimated. Your Personal Best Month will have a positive impact on a group that are consistently under-represented when it comes to participation in sport and physical activity, which in turn will have knock-on benefits for them in terms of their health and wellbeing. The current pandemic has highlighted the need more than ever for people to care for themselves and sport and physical activity are a brilliant outlet for many to do so.”
Sport Ireland is the authority tasked with the development of sport in Ireland and this includes participation in sport and physical activity. Your Personal Best Month is aimed squarely at a group in society that has consistently been amongst those least likely to enjoy the benefits of participating in sport and physical activity, with funding for the project coming from the Dormant Accounts Fund.
John Treacy said: “Sport Ireland are delighted to launch Your Personal Best month, which will help to shine a light on the need for men over the age of 45 to get more physically active and engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. It’s wonderful that this campaign is being supported by our network of national Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships that reach into every community in the country, and this integrated approach will offer increased opportunities for those men who are looking to become more physically active. One of Sport Ireland’s key roles is to increase participation in sport and physical activity across all sections in society and Your Personal Best Month will play vital role in this.
“People can exercise and be physically active during Level 5 restrictions, and we would encourage everyone to continue to do so for their own wellbeing, but we also ask that people respect the guidelines and exercise within 5km of their home and if they are exercising with others to maintain social distancing of 2m as it’s important that we all play our part in keeping everyone safe.”
Professor Niall Moyna of DCU added: “Health related problems due to lack of physical activity continue to rise in Ireland and it’s a major concern. We know that people who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds are at much higher risk of developing these health problems and education and access to employment all play their part – people underestimate the importance of those determinants and how they impact on our health. I would stress to anyone though, that it’s never too late to reset. We want people to set realistic goals, not something that’s unsustainable. Just 30 minutes a day; 15 minutes from your front door and 15 minutes back, five days a week.”
Westmeath Sports Partnership Coordinator Tony Wheat said “This is a fantastic campaign and a real opportunity for men over 45 to increase their physical activity levels, and Westmeath Sports Partnership is delighted to support it. It is so important to be physically active and even though we’re now in Level 5 there are still plenty of ways to be physically active for 30 minutes. The benefits extend to mental wellbeing as well and we’d really encourage people to get involved at what ever level they can, and of course complying with the Covid regulations.”
We all have a responsibility to protect ourselves and those around us. Exercise within 5 kilometres of home and distance yourself at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people. Avoid an area if it looks busy & remember to keep active in line with Government advice. The latest information, advice and guidelines regarding Covid-19 is available on Gov.ie.
Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 22/10/2020