Move Well Being Well
Irish Physical Activity Guidelines for Health currently state that all children and young people, from two to eighteen years of age, should have at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day (Department of Health and Children, 2009). The ‘Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study’ (Woods et al., 2010) found that only 14% of ten to eighteen year olds in Ireland were meeting these requirements. While investigating the factors that motivate children to partake in physical activity, the existing research emphasises the importance of developing the fundamental movement skills in children. Irish research has measured FMS in adolescents (O’Brien, Belton & Issartel, 2014), and found that only 11% could perform the required movement patterns adequately. This is alarming, considering that FMS mastery can be developed by the age of 6. Current children’s physical literacy is dangerously dropping to an unprecedented low level. In addition, there are many bio-psycho-social (BPS) aspects that need to be explored as there is a need to better understand the factors leading to obesity and reduced levels of physical activity, while also developing innovative interventions addressing these problems from a new angle.
Innovative development of an intervention targeting primary school children through GAA personnel provides a unique opportunity to reach out to thousands of kids across the country. The ‘front line’ staff have the knowledge required to make a difference. They have the potential to significantly increase the children’s motor skill proficiency levels giving them the motor repertoire they need to engage and enjoy physical activity participation. This would potentially be very relevant to the GAA’s player pathway, particularly within the ‘Play to Learn’ strand.
For any enquiries please contact: Stephen Behan
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