The Primary Schools Mini Athletics Programme has been running for the past 4 years with the help and support of the Meath Athletics Board. The coaches are employed by FAS under the Community Employment Scheme on a yearly contract for a maximum of 3 years.
The programme consists of throws, jumps, sprints and relays, but we would cover a particular event if the school requests. We provide the programme to 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th classes, and the period allocated for each class is an hour. Our hours of work are from 9.00am to 1.00pm, Monday to Thursday. The programme is free of charge, and our aim is to encourage children to join their local Athletics Club. We usually visit schools once a year but do revisit schools if requested. We have covered approximately 87 schools from September 2010 to date, and are targeting the remaining schools in the County at present.
Last term we introduced “Sports Hall Athletics” to our schedule which is sponsored by the Meath Local Sports Partnership. Mary Murphy Sports Coordinator, approached us to include this programme in our schedule as it has been up and running in other Counties for the past 2 years with great success. Drumbarragh National School was our first school with this new programme which ran for a training period of 6 weeks. A team of 48 athletes were chosen from 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes to represent Meath in the Inter County Schools Hall Athletics Finals in Athlone in March 2011. Seven Counties competed in this competition and the school were placed 4th. At present, we are working with Carnaross N.S and Yellow Furze N.S., and we will be selecting the top 24 athletes from each school to represent Meath in the Pre-qualifier National Inter Schools Championships in February 2012.
This September we provided the athletics programme to Loretto Secondary School, Navan, and introduced a module which covered Core Strength and Nutrition. This proved to be successful, and the school requested a follow-on lecture in Nutrition. In 2012, we will be working with 2nd year students in three Secondary Schools in Meath.
We have completed a Disability Awareness Training Course in Sports with Aine Coogan, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer with MLSP. We felt there was a need to do this course because we have found a large number of children in classes with physical or intellectual disabilities. As we aim to give all children an opportunity in sport, this course provided us with the knowledge required to include these children in our programmes.
Moira Peppard is a level 2 coach with Trim Athletic Club.
Maria Matthews is a level 1 coach with Navan Athletic Club.
Paul Tully is a level 1 coach and Personal Trainer with Paul Tully Fitness.
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