GAA launch Movement Break resources for children
The GAA are delighted to launch a new series of Movement Break resources in conjunction with the Moving Well-Being Well (MWBW) initiative. Aimed at four to 8-year-old children, these evidenced-based and developmentally sound videos aim to enhance their fundamental movement skills (FMS).
To help meet the challenges of home-schooling and no club activity, this set of video learning resources provide assistance to both primary teachers and parents to contribute to children’s physical activity needs.
FMS are the ‘building block’ of more advanced sport-specific skills and are key to children being active later in life. Each video series concentrates on a specific skill and then progresses to a slightly more difficult version of the same skill.
The Moving Well-Being Well project is a partnership between the GAA, the DCU’s School of Health and Human Performance, and the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics and Dublin GAA. The team are also delighted to collaborate with the PDST PE department.
The MBWB resources are designed as a tool to support the outstanding services continuing to be provided remotely by GAA Coaching and Games Development personnel throughout the island of Ireland. Face-to-face coaching has been provided across a number of schools in each county since Sept. With schools closing at the beginning of the year, personnel in many counties have taken innovative steps to continue providing these services remotely.
Ulster GAA’s DENI Curriculum schools’ coaches have delivered 27 physical activity challenges and over 60 live lessons to schools and homes of pupils since the beginning of January. Over 1,550 children have logged into these lessons. Schools Project Coordinator Michael Glover said, “the school’s staff have fully come on board, even though the schools have been closed. Principals and teachers are acutely aware of the need for children to be physically active and our staff have responded to deliver lessons tailored for children and parents at home. From the roll out of virtual lessons in April 2020, there have been around 200,000 views which shows the colossal general engagement.”
Similarly, Carlow GAA GDAs have been running live coaching sessions for primary schools across the county. Carlow GAA Games Development Manager, Sean Gannon, noted that “the sessions are being run in conjunction with the teachers across 23 schools. This week alone we ran 30 live classes and provided coaching to 948 different households Teachers are present for all sessions to moderate. If that even goes a small way towards helping either the children or parents cope a bit better, it will have been an very worthwhile exercise.”
The GDAs of Rebel Og Coaching in Cork have been posting Gaelic games coaching and FMS videos on the YouTube channel weekly since the start of January. Cork GAA Games Development Manager, Kevin O’Callaghan said, “this initiative is being rolled out in collaboration with Sciath na Scol, who do an excellent job of emailing the videos to all the schools in their network every week. Their support and that of all the primary teachers and parents has been outstanding, with over 30,000 video views to date.”
The MWBW Movement Break resources are the latest addition to a bank of children’s learning and physical activity resources that the GAA has produced in response to Covid-19 restrictions in collaboration with Cumann na mBunscol, the GPA, the LGFA and the Camogie Association. The #GAAPrimary Challenges are designed to help Primary Teachers and parents to work on the cross-curricular lesson plans with children. Gaelic game-themed lessons are across all curriculum subjects and are for children at every class level. These and other resources are available learning.gaa.ie/primary-school .
Speaking about the launch, the GAA’s Director of Coaching and Games Development, Shane Flanagan noted:
“The achievement of this latest milestone for the Moving Well Being Well project teams is timely for the GAA as we will soon be launching our new Player Pathway Framework. The pathway is based on the FTEM Framework and its purpose is to support player development by providing the right support, at the right time for the player.
“In partnering with DCU and others, we now have an outstanding, evidenced-based research set of resources to ensure the child in the participation phase of our pathway experiences an environment that focuses on physical literacy and helping children to learn basic movements skills, while having fun. Acquiring these skills through the delivery of our club and school programmes will help these young participants remain involved in sport and physical activity for life. Key to this will be the coach/teacher and we will be using the research to inform our coach education framework.”
The GAA MWBW Movement Break Resources are available here – https://learning.gaa.ie/movingwellbeingwell