Minster Deenihan Launches "Project Spraoi" at CIT
Published on: Thursday, 15 May 2014
The Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, launched Project Spraoi at CIT. This research project will be undertaken in partnership with the Waikato District Health Board in New Zealand and aims to increase the quality and quantity of physical activity, and to improve the nutritional habits, of 1,030 children aged 7 and 8 years in four primary schools in Cork city and county. This is the first, fully evaluated, study of its kind in Ireland.
Children taking part in the New Zealand programme (Project Energize) have shown significant health benefits, including a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity, reduced waist circumference and they are also able to run faster than comparison groups. In response to these positive findings, staff from CIT’s Department of Sport, Leisure & Childhood Studies chose to use the best practice model from Project Energize and adapt it to an Irish setting. Both MSc. and PhD students in the department are delivering the programme and the response from the school and academic communities so far has been very encouraging. The CIT ‘Spraoi Team’ has close collaborations with their colleagues in NZ and it is hoped that Project Spraoi can grow and develop from its current Cork base to a national scale in a similar manner.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Deenihan said: “One in four children in Ireland are either overweight or obese and coupled with the concern that many children are not meeting physical activity or healthy eating recommendations, we, as a nation, need to take action. We wholeheartedly welcome and support important initiatives such as Project Spraoi.”
President of CIT, Dr Brendan J. Murphy said: “Project Spraoi is an excellent example of CIT fulfilling its role in society; contributing to the academic field of health promotion and simultaneously making a real difference, through evidence based research, to the whole school community in the Spraoi schools.”