This week saw Loreto College Cavan become the first post primary school in Ireland to launch a Sli na Slainte, which is a series of four walking routes around the school grounds for staff and students to enjoy. Front (from left): Ann Kennedy, Caroline Clarke, education development officer; Pamela Yo

Loreto makes history with Slí na Sláinte

Loreto College in Cavan Town made history last week as it became the first post primary school in Ireland to launch a new Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) Slí na Sláinte walking route. Slí na Sláinte (Path to Health) is a unique health promotion initiative of the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) designed to encourage people to walk for health and leisure by creating mapped measured walking routes in schools, workplaces, communities and communities. To date, over 400 routes have been developed nationally.
The Loreto College Slí na Sláinte promotes the use of mapped, measured walks around the school grounds to encourage staff and students to incorporate walking into their day. The map includes four different routes around the school grounds. The new routes were launched on Tuesday of last week by past students Niamh Keenaghan and Elaine Brady, members of the winning All-Ireland U20 senior football championship in 2018. They unveiled the new map board before embarking on one of the walks. 
Tara Curran, Slí na Sláinte coordinator from the IHF said: “We hope that the staff and students in Loreto College Cavan will get great enjoyment and benefit from their new Slí na Sláinte routes. Getting active makes such a big difference to your heart and overall health, helping to reduce stress, manage weight, reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. For heart health; adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity, such as brisk walking, five days a week; while children and young people need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day of the week. By having mapped walking routes for staff and students, we hope it will help them to include some physical activity into the school day.”
Angela McGarvey, principal, Loreto College is encouraging students and staff to take one of the walks during their break or lunch times: “We are especially delighted to be holding our launch as part of our first year induction programme. I would like to thank the Health Promoting Schools Committee, which comprises of staff, parents and students, Ms Monica McCrory from the HSE and Tara Curran from the Irish Heart Foundation. We would like to acknowledge the funding received from the Loreto Trust Board to make this project possible. We hope that this Slí na Sláinte is a legacy for all who are currently in the school and for all future generations to come.”