Minister Fitzgerald says National Play Day and new Play and Recreation Network initiative are vital for children’s health
National Play Day 2012 marked by increasing range of activities hosted by 26 local authorities
29th June 2012
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, will mark National Play Day 2012 which takes place on Sunday 1st July (individual dates may vary in some counties). The theme for this year’s events is ‘Experiment with Play’.
National Play Day 2012 will be the biggest to date with 26 local authorities across the country taking part this year. A full list of the events is available.
Minister Fitzgerald stated: “Encouraging play and recreation is vital if we want to ensure our children lead healthy lives. Promoting play and recreation is important both in supporting our children’s physical and emotional development and in forming part of our national response to Ireland’s very serious problems of childhood obesity.
“I am very encouraged by the increased number of local authorities arranging events for this year’s National Play Day. I want to pay special tribute to the local authority Play & Recreation Officers who work closely with my Department all year round to help promote opportunities for play & recreation in their communities.
The increased participation in National Play Day 2012 follows on from the launch earlier this year by Minister Fitzgerald and Senator Eamonn Coghlan of the first ever Local Authority Play and Recreation Network.
The Network, which was established by Minister Fitzgerald, brings together, for the first time, key officials from Local Authorities nationwide in a professional forum to discuss all aspects of play and recreation issues and to provide advice to the Minister and other key stakeholders.
Under the guidance of the Network the range of events taking place during National Play Day this year has been expanded and the local promotion of these events has been improved.
Some of the other initiatives being supported by the Network include:
• Advising on the development of national play and recreation policies as part of the new Children and Young People’s Policy Framework which is being prepared by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs;
• Supporting preparation of the recent Dublin City Integrated Play Plan;
• Raising of awareness of initiatives such as Active School Flag programme;
• Identifying responses to the problem childhood obesity;
• Promoting child protection in play and recreation.