Beat the Bleep Fitness Challenge
First year students across the country have increased their fitness levels by 17% in just six weeks as part of the Dublin City University/John Murray Radio Show Beat the Bleep Fitness Challenge; and the students who completed the challenge are now amongst the fittest in Europe.
Jedward, magician Keith Barry, Dublin footballers Bryan Cullen and Paul Flynn, and John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council joined John Murray and Professor Niall Moyna at DCU's Sports Complex to announce the winners and the findings of the Beat the Bleep Challenge.
The three winning classes with the most improved classes (based on the average class scores) were:
• Girls School – Class Eilis from St Marys Convent of Mercy in Mallow, Co Cork.
• Boys School – Class 1C St Patricks, Navan, Co Meath.
• Mixed Class – Wilsons Hospital School, Co Westmeath.
In January the John Murray Show joined forces with Professor Niall Moyna and Dublin City University to see if they could improve the fitness of First Years across the country, by incentivising them to get fit.
First Year students undertook a "bleep test" to gauge their fitness and then undertook 6 weeks of physical training before retaking the test before their Easter Holidays. Over 9,000 students from approximately 140 schools across the country tested their fitness for the Challenge. Dr Mark Roantree of DCU's School of Computing devised a special computer system to collate and analyse the data supplied by the participating schools.
Professor Niall Moyna, from the school of Health and Human Performance at DCU and fitness advisor to the Dublin Football team, believes that we should be incentivising our young people to get fit by offering Leaving Certificate Points, or even cash, for students who reach an acceptable level of fitness.
The most improved classes were awarded €1,000 euro towards their Physical Education Programme, and a place on a multi-activity camp at DCU to further improve their fitness levels. Beat the Bleep was about participation, and getting the least fit students involved, so prizes were awarded, not to the fittest schools, but to the classes who worked hardest and improved the most.
In the second bleep test, the boys who participated completed an average of 62 shuttles (+9) and the girls 42 (+6). Results from the first stage of the challenge showed the boys completed an average of 53 shuttle runs on the Bleep Tests and the Girls 36 runs. This shows an increase in the average of 17% for both boys and girls.
When compared to the European average of fitness for children of the same age, Irish boys are now in the top 20 percentile (7.6) and Irish girls are in the top 10 percentile (6.1). (The first bleep test scores put Irish boys in the top 30% of the same age and girls in the top 20%.)
• 36% of boys in Phase 2 ran more than 72 shuttles compared to 21.6% in Phase 1.
• 38% of girls ran more than 50 shuttles during the second bleep test compared to only 19.5% when tested in January.
• This places all these boys and girls in the top 10% of European children for fitness.
• 2.7% of boys ran 100 shuttles or more in phase 1 but 4.8% ran 100 shuttles or more in Phase 2.
• 10% of girls ran more than 70 shuttles in phase 2 compared to 4.4% in phase 1.
• The highest number of shuttles was run by a boy in Colaiste Iosagain in County Laois who ran 150 shuttles.
• Two girls ran 125 shuttles - one from St Mary's Convent of Mercy, Mallow and one from Loreto Community School in Milford, Donegal.
Click to view the video of the John Murray show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPTW2FAnhGk