IT Sligo is putting “workplace wellbeing” centre-stage in its day to day life.
The Institute of Technology has unveiled a “Healthy Campus” initiative, supported by an activity programme, which commits the college to promotion of good health at all levels of its operations. Professor Terri Scott, President of IT Sligo, said: “The relevance of this project has been drawn tragically into clearer focus this week by the events surrounding Neknomination activity.
“It is all too easy for young people to fall prey to internet crazes. I welcome the widespread repudiation of this so-called challenge game but I also appeal to all students, actively, to use social media to alert your friends to its dangers and to keep your college and student leaders informed if you see any similar dangers appearing online.” On behalf of IT Sligo, Professor Scott said she wished to offer her sympathy to the family of the 19-years-old Carlow man, Jonny Byrne, who died last weekend. Professor Scott launched the initiative when she officially opened a campus “Slí na Sláinte”, in association with the Irish Heart Foundation. Edel Byrne, Slí na Sláinte National Coordinator with the Irish Heart Foundation, was present at the launch.
The Healthy Campus mission statement pledges: “The pursuit of a balanced lifestyle will be valued, physical and emotional health will be fostered and all our campus community shall be encouraged to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.” IT Sligo has 6,000 students and 500 employees. The activity programme is based on four imperatives: physical activity, good nutrition, emotional wellbeing and campus environment. Professor Scott said: “Our vision is that IT Sligo will be a leader in creating a campus culture which nurtures the health and wellbeing of our staff, students and the wider campus community.”
Healthy Campus builds on the popularity of a health promotion drive that won a bronze award in the Irish Heart Foundation’s inaugural Active@Work Awards last year. It was led by Yvonne Roache, IT Sligo’s Health and Safety Officer, who is Coordinator of the Healthy Campus team. The award scheme recognises employer achievements in encouraging a culture of physical activity among employees. IT Sligo was the only educational organisation to receive an accolade. The Slí na Sláinte opening is the high-point of “Physical Activity Week” at IT Sligo, which a is a curtain-raiser to Healthy Campus events over the next three months. They will focus on workshops, classes, practical demonstrations and information days that promote health and nutrition and emotional health. Many will be hosted and organised by students who are studying IT Sligo degree courses such as the BB in Recreation and Leisure and BSc in Health Science and Physiology.
Yvonne Roache explained: “We have the practical and teaching expertise on campus, and that enables us to be a step ahead in fostering health promotion for both staff and students.” The Healthy Campus team includes IT Sligo academics and other professionals who specialise in health promotion, exercise, emotional health and the environment. Yvonne Roache said: “People need to embrace good nutrition and exercise on a daily basis to ensure their future health. “We should all take time to talk and listen to our work colleagues and classmates. Even a word of encouragement can boost someone’s day. Walk with your friends for just 10 minutes every day on the Slí na Sláinte and you’ll feel the benefits in so many ways.”
ITSligo Walk 001JC.jpg Best foot forward. Prof. Terri Scott, President, IT Sligo, (centre) alongside Yvonne Roache, IT Sligo Health and Safety Officer, and Edel Byrne ,National Coordinator,Slí na Sláinte, Irish Heart Foundation (second from left) with some of the staff and students who joined in an inaugural walk around the new Slί na Sláinte at IT Sligo.
Yvonne Roache, IT Sligo Health and Safety Officer, Professor Terri Scott, President, IT Sligo, and Edel Byrne of the Irish Heart Foundation celebrate the opening of the campus Slί na Sláinte at IT Sligo.
Edel Byrne, (on right) National Coordinator of the Irish Heart Foundation’s Slί na Sláinte initiative, walks the walk with friends at the launch of the IT Sligo’s Slί na Sláinte