Overview and Context

Data from the census in 2016, shows that 89% of the Irish population perceives their health to be good or very good. However, there is a disparity in self-perceived health based on age: 59% of people aged 75 or older give this answer compared to 94% (31,448) of young people aged 15 – 24. Long standing illness follows a similar pattern with 52% of people aged 65 or older reporting this, compared to 30% in the whole population.

In the Dublin region children aged 10–17 reported being physically active for at least 60 minutes per day on more than four days per week, this is close to national averages and presents a solid basis of physical engagement that can built on by focusing on groups that may not be engaging such as, in line with the social determinants model, higher risk social groups. 

The following issues have been raised through stakeholder interviews and focus groups and were then endorsed through interagency workshops, as points needing to addressed in South Dublin County in order to increase the amount of people engaged in physical activity:

  • Engagement – to successfully engage people activities need to be fun, social, and tailored to community interests, such as a dance classes and kick boxing. There is a need for services to be welcome people with barriers to engagement, such as elderly or people with disabilities
  • Schools and youth drop off – There is often not enough physical activity occurring during school. There is drop off in physical activity after the age of 14, drop-off starts earlier for girls and there is not sufficient focus on keeping girls in sport
  • Affordability – A lack of free or affordable gym or sports groups is an issue locally. Organisations who offer programmes like dancing or yoga can struggle with funding for instructors, boxing clubs that price accessibly can struggle to remain open. Price can be an issue for people for disability who need to be accompanied
  • Conflicting needs – People with mental health, addiction issues or living in poverty, are often less motivated in relation to their physical health and les able to access services.
  • Lack of planning / capacity in some community groups to work with Sports Council. Not all community groups access available funding (for materials, training), and require additional supports to apply for funds
  • Information is not currently easily available in one place – there needs to be an accessible and updated local website with data on all local events. This should be supported by a social media strategy
  • Transport – Challenges in getting to activities is an issue, especially for young people (i.e. under 12 years olds)