A project, pioneered in Lurgan primary schools and aimed at getting kids healthy, has scooped a top award.
Healthy Kidz, set up in Tannaghmore Primary School, was Highly Commended in the Social Enterprise NI Awards recently.
The project was created by experienced teachers so children aged 7-11 coulds improve their activity and fitness.
Initially it was rolled out in Tannaghmore PS to 89 P6 pupils. With analysis from Queens University Belfast, under Dr Mark Tully, head of Public Research, UK, it was rolled out to 70 Catholic and State schools across Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown.
Kevin Creery of Healthy Kidz said: “It is continuing to grow rapidly and it is now expected to be in 100 schools by December 2017 moving into Co Down, Tyrone and Antrim. We are also in Co Laois and are aiming to move to all schools there by January 2108. There are 7k pupils going through our programme, potentially rising to 12k.
Kids have various strands of fitness goals including access to an App which allows them to follow their progress.
Kevin explained that Healthy Kidz has become so successful they now employ nine full time coaches as well as 16 part time coaches.
The aim is to get local firms on board and more investment as the company expands across Ireland.
“We are also continually adding partnerships. Already we have a dental practitioner delivering oral hygiene lessons and advice on diet and nutrition. Local GP’s are very supportive and we have been approached by local businesses to provide rewards for continued achievements by the pupils on our app.