While we consider ourselves a sport-mad country, a study revealed in today's Irish Independentwould appear to suggest that our enthusiasm is not being passed on.
Detailing the contents of a study carried out by Dublin City University, Sarah Slater has suggested that,
Children as old as 12 are unable to run, jump, throw, catch or even hit any type of sports ball properly due to inactivity.
Their motor skills are so bad they exercise as if they are in their 30s or older, whenever they have to take part in physical activities or sports.
In what amounts to a pioneering study of exercise levels among 2,000 of Ireland's primary school children, the results make for pretty grim reading.
With the country 'heading towards a crisis in public health and fitness', Dr Johann Issartel, from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at the School of Health and Human Performance, said:
It's a potential catastrophe for public health because the inability to perform fundamental movement skills leads to an aversion to sports and exercise later in life.
The cause behind all this?
Issartel believes the advancement and overuse of electronic devices are a key factor. Overly cautious parents and poor facilities in schools also contribute.
With the 'very, very worrying' reality of what this study reveals, a few Irish sports stars have weighed in on the findings.
— Paul O'Connell (@Paul_OConnell) August 18, 2017
Shocking stuff and absolutely no excuse for it. Parents and teachers a lot to answer for!!https://t.co/5VqsvuTaey
— Tomás Ó Sé (@tomas5ky) August 18, 2017
— Aaron Cunningham (@aaroncun) August 18, 2017
While it is clear that this issue will require immediate action, upon whom the majority of the blame is leveled will remain a contentious topic.
However, pursuing such an agenda is unlikely to advance the remedying of this increasingly worrying problem.