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Inclusion in Athletics: Cork Primary Schools Athletics Programme

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This year’s Cork Primary Schools Athletics Programme, organised by Cork Sports Partnership, MTU and Athletics Ireland, was a huge success, as 50 schools and over 1,500 pupils participated in the programme across seven regions. The schools took part in a four-week training programme with a regional focus in recent weeks. That took in West Cork, East Cork, North Cork, Cork City South, Cork City North, Bantry and Special Schools.

This event gives primary school children the opportunity to take part in athletics in a safe and supported environment. 

“The programme is all about fun and participation while introducing children to all the different disciplines Athletics has to offer,” said Craig Harrington, the Athletics Development Officer in Cork and MTU.

By taking part in the programme, every school receives four weeks of sessions with an athletics qualified tutor, equipment pack and entry into the regions culminating blitz.

As part of the blitz days transition years from local secondary schools mentor and demonstrate the different athletics activities to the primary school children. 

The transition years have all completed the Athletics Ireland Assistant Coach Course as part of their preparation for this event.

“These blitz events give our transition years the opportunity to get on the Athletics Ireland coaching ladder and gain some supported coaching experience, this is our fourth year taking part in the Cork Sports Partnership programme,” said Michael Connern, St Brogan’s College, Bandon.

The programme starts in February and finishes in May. 

Three of the bigger events were held in the state of the art MTU Arena and the children were delighted to have a visit from Irish Senior Long Jump Champion and MTU Scholarship student Reece Ademola.

Little Athletics – Special Schools.

On Tuesday 21st May, the Little Athletics Blitz was held in MTU indoor arena as part of the overall Cork Primary Schools Athletics Programme. The aim of this programme is to introduce students in special schools to athletics in a fun, supportive, engaging and non-competitive environment. The 4-week programme provides students, SNAs & teachers with an introduction to athletic disciplines of running, jumping and throwing. It focuses on the use of games to develop fitness whilst enhancing agility, co-ordination and balance – all fundamental to longer term physical athletic development. Over 150 students between the ages of 8-12yrs, from 5 different schools, took part in the final day blitz. It was evident that all had benefited from the 4 week athletics coach led sessions but most importantly there was a real sense of fun and enjoyment visible in the hall.

Well done to Craig and his team in Cork Sports Partnership and MTU for a hugely successful programme. If your school would like to find out more about the programme and register your interest for next year, please contact Craig at charrington@corksports.ie.

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