Tipperary students put focus on heart health in school initiative


Tipperary students put focus on heart health in school initiative

Abbey CBS Heart Health quiz winners were Sean Lewis, Bill Quirke, Kevin Stanley and Shane Quigley

As part of this year’s Young Social Innovators programme, the Abbey CBS transition year 2 students in Tipperary town set up a Heart Health Week initiative for students and teachers under the guidance of their teacher Ms. McCarthy in association with The Irish Heart Foundation.

“The aim of the initiative was to encourage a healthy and balanced lifestyle through exercise and diet, the controllable factors in our lives,” explained 5th year student Ronan Finnan. 

“The students organised various activities during this week, in the hope that the school community would try to make positive changes to their health and wellbeing.”

The school welcomed guest speaker Caoimhe Rudden from the Irish Heart Foundation,  who gave a detailed talk on heart health and showed students the negative impacts our lifestyles can have on our hearts. 

Another highlight of the week was an exercise activity by former student Josh Ryan. 

A Drop Everything and Move session had junior students substitute their schoolbooks for half an hour in order to get active and moving with a range of exercises to strengthen their heart. 

Squatting, planking, jumping jacks and sprints kept the students' heart rates up and allowed all students to stay physically active.

To introduce a healthy and balanced diet to students, every break time TY students had a variety of fruit available for students to try and enjoy. 

This allowed students the opportunity to try fruit they had not tasted before and was a positive step to introduce fruit and vegetables to their diets. 

The TY students also developed The Abbey Heart Health recipe booklet which is comprised of handpicked healthy and easy recipes for  students to try at home. 

This can be availed of on the school website. The students also designed the booklet filling it with their own artwork with Ms. Carey and Mr. Carew.

The Heart Health Week also educated pupils with the knowledge of CPR that is hugely beneficial and life saving. 

Mr. Mullins and Ms. McCarthy ran the courses with the year groups, so a large number of the school community learned the skill of hands-only CPR and can help if there ever was a first response situation.

Other initiatives included heart dissections that ran in science and biology classes, to learn about the heart and how it works. ]

Pulse rate calculations and blood pressure reading were also carried out. 

A trip to Cook Medical gave students the opportunity to learn about cardiac medial devices like stints that are used to help with blockages in arteries and veins. 

Heart Health quizzes were a fun way for students to learn about their heart health through general knowledge and fun group involvement.

With newly acquired knowledge about heart health, the TY students used their generous hearts to raise money for the charitable organisation the Irish Heart Foundation throughout the week.