Sports

St Conor's PS launch 'Couch to 5K'

Thursday, 19 January 2017

THE launch of St Conor's Primary School's 'Couch to 5K' training programme took place at Omagh Youth Sport last Monday evening with some 150 pupils, parents, governors, staff and friends of the school registering to take part.

The programme, funded by Active Awards (Sports NI), is aimed at getting children and adults more active. The focus is on fostering healthier lifestyles, and proving that anyone can achieve a fitness goal if they just stick their minds to it. Above all, the programme will be fun for everyone who participates.

It is for those who want to begin exercising but do not know where to start, as well as for seasoned runners and athletes.It aims to motivate and facilitate physical activity and exercise with an end goal - participation in the Omagh 5K Park Run in early April by either running or walking.

The training programme, which takes place Mondays and Thursdays for the next ten weeks at Omagh Youth Sport from 7 to 8 pm each evening, is facilitated by expert coaches, who cater for all ages and abilities and who want everyone to enjoy their experience.

Principal, Katrina McGettigan, said she was delighted with the huge turn-out at the first training session.

"It was great to see so many of our children, parents and staff participating and enjoying the fun. This will be a great opportunity for families to participate in physical activity together."

She stressed that the Couch to 5K was not a fundraising venture, and training and participation in the whole programme is entirely free. She thanked the St Conors' Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA) for submitting an application for the Active Award (Sport NI) and congratulated them on being successful in securing the funds to run the whole Couch to 5K programme.

"Thankfully we have a dynamic, forward-thinking parent association at our school and it is down to their vision and hard work that we are able to offer such an opportunity to our pupils, their families, staff and friends of the school."

Mrs McGettigan referred to the appetite for running amongst the children at St Conor's, something which is nurtured through the school's weekly running club. The running club, which was established by vice-principal, Mr Gary McCrory, is for children in Key Stage Two every Friday morning from 8.15am to 9 am on the school pitch. The children are coached by Gary McCrory and Chris McGuigan (caretaker), with the support of Mr Liam Grugan (PE co-ordinator).

"St Conor's has long promoted running and we participate in all local running events, including the Flahavan's Primary School Cross Country League," said Mrs McGettigan. "We are proud of the many successful young athletes who have passed through the school and who helped raise the profile of athletics in the school, not forgetting our caretaker, Chris McGuigan, who last year won the title of 'National Age Group Champion'' in triathlon and is a great role model for the children."

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