It’s homework, but not as we know it…

Over 60,000 school children from more than 300 primary schools around the country are embarking on one of the most ambitious campaigns ever undertaken to help parents and children achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day. The crucial aim of the initiative is to encourage both parents and children to treat the task of daily physical activity with the same importance as their regular school homework.

Super Troopers with laya healthcare is Ireland’s first ‘health homework’ programme and provides an easy-to-follow physical activity ‘homework’ planner based on short-burst activities that marry daily exercise with imaginative fun that kids and parents will equally enjoy e.g. musical bumps, penguin shuffles, freeze tag and wall ball games. Over 60,0000 Super Troopers with laya healthcare information packs and planners have already been distributed to children all over the country and the campaign provides step-by-step support for teachers, parents and kids ranging in ages from 4-12 years to get active together in a fun and highly interactive way. Super Troopers with laya healthcare aims for physical activity to become part of children’s daily routine, parents are asked to sign off each activity at the end of the week just as they would regular school work. It’s homework, but not as we know it…

Super Troopers with laya healthcare was activated in over 300 primary schools in September, runs over 30 weeks and was designed by a team of experienced health and fitness experts including Youth Development Coach for Leinster Rugby Brian Smyth. A fun mix of high-intensity, family-based exercise routines and tips on nutrition have been created with the principle aim of forming long term healthier attitudes and behaviours among school kids and their parents.

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Commenting on the campaign, Dónal Clancy, Managing Director of laya healthcare – Ireland’s second largest health insurer and proud sponsor of Super Troopers said: “As a busy Dad myself I fully appreciate how hard it was to ensure my children got the recommended minimum 60 minutes of physical activity a day. But as a health insurer that is commited to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our almost half a million members, many of whom are parents, we were shocked to learn that four in five Irish children do less than the 60 minutes recommended physical activity daily. We immediately set about to design a programme that would be fun, free and friendly enough that kids and parents would willingly want to take part in. We were blown away by the enthusiastic reaction by children and parents to Super Troopers with laya healthcare. The fact that over 60,000 children from 300 plus schools have already committed to take part is incredibly encouraging. We wish all the kids and their Mums and Dads lots of luck over the course of the campaign and we can’t wait to hear how they got on.”

Youth Development Coach for Leinster Rugby and Super Troopers with laya healthcare ambassador Brian Smyth says that something radical and thought provoking was needed to break children and their parents out of their exercise complacency, “Physical activity among primary school students is key to the development of critical skills such as balance, stamina, speed, suppleness and strength. The brilliant thing is thatSuper Troopers with laya healthcare is not about winners or losers; children of all abilities aged 4-12 years are welcome to take part and the ultimate aim is to help parents and children get active while having as much fun as possible, and without any extra expense.

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“There are activities that will get your heart pumping, your legs moving, your arms wiggling and we also have lots of giggling time built in; from disco dancing and musical creepy crawlies to animal charades and family Olympics, the activities are designed to be fun and involve the whole family from the smallies to the biggies.”

Laya healthcare is committed to looking after you always, and that includes looking after your little ones too. To find out more about the Super Troopers with laya healthcare programme and see some of the schools taking part, keep an eye out on the laya healthcare Facebook page.

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