Active Future Programme – Week 1 – Fun Games, The Food Pyramid & Understanding Behaviour.

You can find last week’s blog post here 

Last week’s blog mentioned the importance of self-doubt – something I should have revisited  in the hours leading up to the start of week 1. I couldn’t stop my mind from racing and wondering if things would run smoothly, if everything prepared, if the participants would like the food or if anyone would even turn up?  To my delight the first week went off without a hitch, and judging by the feedback from everyone involved, it was a huge success! Fifteen participants engaged with the programme on the first week and an equal amount of Sports Science students were there to facilitate the various inputs. See the video below to get a quick overview of what we did on week 1!


Physical Health Input

The third year Sports Science students of I.T. Carlow  delivered an excellent and very comprehensive presentation on the food pyramid. The students covered the basics of the food pyramid and why each food group is important. They also provided a really tangible way of ensuring how to eat the correct amount of each food group with the Eatwell Guide. The Eatwell guide is a visual representation of how different food groups contribute towards a healthy balanced lifestyle. There were some really interesting discussions between the students and the participants on their  eating habits and how low or high consumption of certain food groups may affect their energy levels and recovery times after intense activity.

Physical Activity Input

The physical activity aspect of the programme has the overall focus of promoting alternatives ways of being active outside of structured sports. This week Danni led an excellent session around fun orientated games. Both the Sports Science students and participants were involved in the session which started off with some fun warm up games and finished with some relay races. We incorporated what we had learned on the food pyramid into our physical activity session to test what had been learned! Participants passed with flying colours as they raced against each other carrying  bean bags that represented various food groups and placed them in their correct position in a food pyramid at the end of the room. 

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Danni Callanan (Sports Science Intern of I.T. Carlow) delivering an excellent session.


Mental Health Input

An superb session on understanding behaviour was delivered by Michael Byrne exploring the different types of human behaviour. The 4 types of human behaviour are thoughts, actions, body feelings and emotions. For example if we wake up with a headache ( a body feeling) we might think (thought) that we are sick. We might feel (emotion) upset that we are sick and go (action) to the doctor. The behaviours in which we have the most control over are our actions and thoughts and Michael guided participants through how best to control these behaviours. 

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Participants learning about the food pyramid.

Drop by my blog next week to see how week 2 of the Active Future Programme goes!

The Active Future Programme is an 8 week programme aiming to promote physical activity and further education amongst adolscents and strives to challenge stigmas and misconceptions around mental and physical health. It is run on campus of I.T. Carlow and in association with the above partners. This blog is updated each week and follows the progress of the programme. If you would like more information on the programme or have any questions in general you can contact me by email – or

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