Saturday, December 29, 2012

AVIVA School Mile Challenge

With 82 schools to date participating in the AVIVA School Mile Challenge and over 10,000 wristbands already distributed this is proving to be a big hit with teachers countrywide.

The event provides a superb opportunity for schools to support an initiative to encourage teenagers to get a taste of recreational participation in sport. This is all about taking part in a healthy form of exercise. There is a fun competitive element also as we will be looking at categories like best schools, counties and provinces...we may even uncover the next sub-4 minute miler, but that is incidental to the main purpose which is to promote running or walking as part of a balanced healthy lifestyle.
The event is being run as a joint promotion of the Irish Schools Athletic Association, Athletics Ireland and AVIVA. Each school chooses its own time to run the event. It can be done during or after school and ideally should be run on the school grounds. It can be done by athletes only or as a whole school activity. It is the responsibility of the school to mark out the course, run the event, do all the administration associated with it and then send on the information on a spreadsheet. The school  then receives the wristbands which are colour co-ordinated to reflect the time of the competitor. There are different times for boys and girls to reflect their different aerobic capacities.
This initiative is part of our “Fit for Life” programme and encourages all pupils while at school to participate. The idea of running a mile and receiving a coloured coded wristband in accordance with the time achieved has to be one of the best ideas of spreading a love of running to young people. Pupils are encouraged to train for the event and to repeat the exercise and thereby improve on their time.
So far Rice College, Westport with 58 Red Wristbands have posted the best times. But it’s not only about how fast but how many take part and another Connacht School, St Claire’s Comprehensive, Manorhamilton, had a turn-out of 433 pupils. 519 girls from Loreto, Fermoy took the Challenge. Let’s get more schools taking part in this fitness initiative.
Apply to to receive all the information and get the young people of Ireland taking up running/walking as a healthy pastime.
We have had a great response from those schools who have participated already. Some of their comments are posted below:
Please find attached the spreadsheet containing the list of participants in our recent 'AVIVA School Mile Challenge' in St. Clare's Comprehensive, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim.
We had an overwhelming response; students have been training on a regular basis during three lunch-breaks every week since the event was announced.  We had many seasoned runners and many first times, who hopefully have a new, found interest in running.
It has been a fantastic positive event for our school.
Thank you for facilitating the event.
Sandra Carden, St Claire’s Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim.
We have already run our 1st year Mile Challenge like we did for Kip Keino last year.  It worked really well.  We used this Mile Challenge to have our Team for next week’s Community School Cross Country.  We also got the First 20 Boys and 20 Girls to finish to run in the World Marathon Challenge on Tuesday on Tallaght Track.  It was a great event - our Marathon time of 2 hours 14 minutes and some seconds.
We also have our 2nd Year team for the Cross Country as we are using the results from Kip Keino run last year.
Your Mile Challenge has been great in our school and students look forward to it.  Great sense of achievement and the wristbands really work.  We also make sure to recognise all who complete it and not just use it as a Competition.
Enda Timoney, St. Mark's Community School, Tallaght.

The School Mile Challenge was held last Friday and was very enjoyable for all involved.
I have attached an excel sheet with all the results. Before the challenge I stressed that the main purpose was to encourage students to get up and get active by running or walking... as you will see in the results walking was the preferred choice of most students. Don’t think we'll have anyone going to the next Olympics but if was a great afternoon.
Anton Walsh, Collinstown Community College, Clondalkin.
Hi John,
We did the Mile Challenge on Tuesday 23rd October 2012.
It was a fantastic day for us. As you can see, a huge number took part, students and staff. We had the event in the Listowel Town Park which is just over a mile in perimeter.
This is a great idea, which we hope to continue as part of our Health Awareness Week every year.
Thanks for the invitation to take part. Can you send on the Wrist Bands as soon as you can, the boys and some Teachers are very proud of their times and are looking for that coveted Wrist Band.
Yours in Sport,
Liam Hassett, St. Michael's College, Listowel, Co. Kerry.
The pupils from St Michael’s, Listowel, Co Kerry taking the “Challenge”.
Please find attached the scores from the Athletics Mile Challenge we ran in our school last Wednesday November 28th.
328 children took part.
I would like to thank you very much John for this event. The kids enjoyed it greatly and they will be taking part in the event again later in the year.
Shane Luby St.Joseph's N.S., Templerainey, Arklow, Co.Wicklow.

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