Ireland’s First Fitness Testing For Children
Following pressure on the UK government to introduce mandatory fitness testing for school children and Senator Catherine Noone’s recent call on the Irish government to follow suit, Zoom Boom Kids is at the forefront of the problem and the solution. We are in the final stages of launching Ireland’s first fitness and skills testing programme for primary-aged children of all levels. The Zoom Boom Review measures key elements of a child’s physical development such as upper and lower body strength, core strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and general fitness.
These unique set of tests access how each child compares to the internationally established physical developmental milestones for their age. The tests are child-friendly and mainly based on general play. Our tests are also distinctive as they test children from age 4 years old and upwards.
Developed by occupational therapist, fitness professional and mum of three Brenda Cassidy, the company founder says,
“Until now fitness testing for children has been about measuring their BMI and their ability to run, which has such a narrow focus. Our new tests look at the child’s entire physical development and how it aids their ability to do normal everyday things like sit upright, write, button their shirt, run safely, concentrate on homework, even sleep properly. It’s about looking at basic skills that are at the foundation of every child’s life.”
In the UK and Ireland we are 20% less active than we were 25 years ago with 71% of 12-year-old boys and 81% of 12-year-old girls now failing to meet the minimum physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes a day. Research shows that this not only contributes to reduced physical skills like coordination and strength, it also increases the risk of disease like heart disease and cancer, and can have a negative effect on mood and behaviour.
Childhood obesity has long been a major concern for parents, schools and health groups. Research is now showing that inactivity is becoming an even bigger issue as even a slim child can suffer negative effects of a more sedentary lifestyle.
Brenda says the knock-on effects of inactivity are growing,
“In this age of mobile technology and a more sedentary society, many children are coming into school and sport with poorly developed physical skills. For our children to become healthy, active adults we need to ensure they learn good basic physical skills from a very youg age.”
The Zoom Boom Review is carried out by specially trained coaches among a group of children in a school or club setting. Group and individual reports are made available and individual corrective programmes can be designed for parents if needed. Pre and post testing is also available in conjunction with our Zoom Boom Club programme if desired.
- The Zoom Boom Review can help teachers and parents identify physical functioning issues early and plan on ways to correct them. It can also positively impact school-wide policy and at-home behaviours relating to exercise, family activities and screen time
Zoom Boom Kids provide a range of programmes and skill building activities for children, including:
- Zoom Boom Club Programme – 6 weeks of fun but intense physical activity and skill building games and activities, delivered by a trained Zoom Boom Kids coach. Physical activity homework, rewards and parental engagement included.
- Run Your Own Zoom Boom Club – learn how to use and adapt our programme for use in PE classes, after school activities or coaching sessions.
- Teacher training – Our 4 module course ‘ Creating Effective PE and Break Time Activities to Improve Classroom Function’ show teachers and coaches how to use fun activities to change learning and behaviour, and upskill them on childhood movement, development milestones and movement disorders.
The Zoom Boom Review is not designed to assess movement disorders in children but it can highlight issues that need further investigation and can provide corrective action to assist the child, family and teacher/coach.
Call Brenda today on 00 353 86 176 6000 or email Brenda for more information.