The most im­por­tant bit of our ed­u­ca­tion?

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Front Page -

No prizes for guess­ing Olympic ath­lete Thomas Barr’s favourite class at school.

“I was a very ac­tive and sporty child, so I loved PE and wished we had more classes of it,” he says. Apart from that, what he did with his friends out­side school hours in Co Water­ford tended to be out­doors and ac­tive.

Now there is much more for chil­dren to do that doesn’t in­volve be­ing ac­tive, he points out.

“I’m guilty of it my­self – sit­ting on my phone scrolling so­cial me­dia for hours or spend­ing 15 min­utes on con­struct­ing an In­sta­gram post that will look good.”

That’s why he thinks sim­ple ini­tia­tives such as the Irish Life Health School’s Fit­ness Chal­lenge, for which he is an am­bas­sador, are so im­por­tant to re­mind chil­dren how fun it is to be ac­tive.

Cur­rently on a break from train­ing, Barr says “al­ready I feel my en­ergy lev­els and mood lev­els have dropped”. He wants chil­dren to be aware of the “nat­u­ral high” that phys­i­cal ex­er­tion brings.

Barr (25) does jet-ski­ing and other wa­ter­sports to keep his adrenalin flow­ing in the off sea­son – not to men­tion guilt-free par­ty­ing with his friends and with­out hav­ing to be in bed by 11pm.

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