PARTICIPATION Kids in Action Programme

SUPERVALU LINKS WITH KEY PARTNERS TO HELP GET IRISH PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN INVOLVED IN ACTIVE PLAY

SuperValu aims to provide over €1,000,000 worth of sports equipment to primary schools
 
SuperValu, Ireland’s leading independent supermarket network today launched a nationwide multi layered programme designed to get Irish primary school children more involved in sports and active play.

The programme combines three separate initiatives aimed at both increasing physical activity levels amongst the 5 - 12yrs age group and encouraging them and their parents to take a fresh look at nutrition and their daily diets. SuperValu has developed this programme in conjunction with a number of expert partners including the Irish Sports Council (ISC), the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) and Sarah Keogh, B. Sc. (Nutrition) MINDI.

The first initiative, which has already begun, is the commissioning of research being undertaken by IUNA into the activity patterns of children in the 5 - 12 age group.  Said Dr. Sinead McCarthy, IUNA:  “For the first time in Ireland a database of physical activity in a nationally representative sample of Irish children has been developed”
 
“From our understanding of the data, which has been studied to date, it is very apparent that there are some serious issues with activity levels amongst this group.  For example 71% of children are driven to school although they live less than a mile from the schools gates, while only 0.2% cycle.  Of the children surveyed, almost 70% are watching more than two hours of TV each day.  This may not seem like a lot of TV watching, but the underlying data from the survey is showing us that children who are classified as obese are those watching higher amounts of television.  The bottom line is that the child who does not get involved in active play and enjoys more sedentary activities such as TV and computer games is two thirds more likely to be deemed overweight or obese.”

“However, further research of the National Children’s Food Survey data really needs to be undertaken to give us a full understanding of the real issues amongst this critical group,  thanks to SuperValu we can now do this” she added.

The second strand of the programme is the launch of SuperValu Kids in Action, an in-store collector scheme for sports equipment for primary schools, which is being rolled-out alongside an extensive in-store nutrition education programme.  The education programme has been developed in conjunction with the well known consultant nutritionist Sarah Keogh, B. SC. (Nutrition) MINDI. 

The SuperValu Kids in Action programme is being supported by Sonia O’Sullivan and Ray D’Arcy. “As an athlete and mother of two young children” said Sonia, “I am probably more aware than most of the need to form good active lifestyle habits amongst our younger children.  Unlike me, most Mums do not have the knowledge about how to do this, but this programme provides all of the activity and nutritional advice you could need in easy bite size pieces.”

Added Ray D’Arcy:  “SuperValu Kids in Action is a fantastic idea; it is solely focused on primary schools, where all of the expert advice is telling us we need to focus our attention to ensure our kids form the eating and activity habits that will ensure they grow up to be healthy adults.”

The final strand of SuperValu’s programme is Buntús – the Irish Sports Council’s official Primary School’s Sports Programme which provides a quality introduction to sports and physical activity for all primary school children, which has been proudly supported by SuperValu since May 2004.


Said Donal Horgan, Managing Director, SuperValu; “We have been working hard with our network of independent retailers over the past year or so, to bring this entire package to fruition.  It wasn’t enough for us or them to develop an in-store promotion - that would have been easy. Our retailers really wanted to give something back to the communities in which they and their families work and live.”

“We know that forming good activity and eating habits at an early age keeps us in good stead for our entire life and our retailers around the country are delighted to be able to bring a programme, in conjunction with our expert partners, which offers a 360 degree approach to physical activity and nutrition” he added.

SuperValu Kids in Action begins in-store next Monday, 16th January and runs until Sunday, 26th March.  Stores will be handing out one voucher for every €10 spent. 

For further information teachers can look at the SuperValu Kids in Action website at www.supervalukidsinaction.ie or call freephone 1800 242648.

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For further information please contact:
Sue Lamon-Diver/Debbie McCaughey
Fleishman-Hillard
(01) 618 8411/(086) 227 3397
(01) 618 8420/(086) 814 0790