The most important bit of our education?
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.