Cork Sports Partnership Sportshall Athletics Programme 2019


Over 600 primary school children from 20 Cork schools took part in the 3rd annual Cork Primary School Sportshall Athletics programme.

The programme coordinated by Cork Sports Partnership, with support from Healthy Ireland and Athletics Ireland, focuses on the use of games to develop fitness whilst enhancing agility, co-ordination and balance - all of which are fundamental to longer term physical athletic development.

Each school involved in the programme receives 4 weeks training with a qualified athletics tutor, an equipment pack, so the teachers can continue delivering athletics after the programme has completed, as well as entry into a fun blitz at the end of the 4 weeks training. Schools are also offered additional training opportunities following the programme to further strengthen the provision of athletics within their school. 

The programme which is aimed at children from 3rd & 4th classes, introduces participants to the Standing Long Jump, Speed Bounce, Shuttle Run, Javelin, Target Throw and Relay events.

Speaking recently about the programme, Craig Harrington, Athletics Development Officer for Cork & CIT outlined the focus of the programme. “The main goal of this programme is to provide children with the opportunity to enjoy athletics without any emphasis on medals or times. The fundamentals of athletics are all on display to run, jump and throw, which is a great place for all children to start.”

He added “The programme wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Healthy Ireland funding, our tutors Clare McSweeney and Fiona O’Driscoll, CIT Athletics Club students, the teachers, principals and students themselves who all really got involved from the outset. For many of the children, this was their first taste of the sport and we hope to see these athletes continuing to train and compete in athletics in the not too distant future”.

Following record numbers of schools signing up to the programme, the programme delivery was split between Cork City and Cork County, with 10 schools from each taking part. Following completion of both programmes, all children were invited to take part in 2 separate fun blitzes where they got to engage and interact with other schools involved the programme. Highlights from the day included the school relay challenge where schools got to go head to head against other schools in a series of runs.

The schools who participated in the programme were Clondrohid NS, Scoil Chlochair Mhuire, Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin, Leamlara, Barryroe NS, Charleville CBS, Presentation Fermoy, Banteer NS, Ballygiblin NS and Baltydaniel NS, Scoil Oilibhéir, St Luke’s Douglas, Gaelscoil na Duglaise, Morning Star NS, Gaelscoil An Teaghlaigh Naofa, Cork Educate Together NS, Blarney Street CBS, North Presentation Primary, St. Maries of the Isle and St. Columba’s.

Plans are already in place for the programme for 2020 with another 600 children having already completed their 4 week engagement programme.

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