The Donegal Primary Schools’ Sportshall Athletics Programme is set to return in 2023 after a four-year break due to the impact of Covid-19.
The popular sports programme, which caters for small and medium to large primary schools, was last run in 2019 when over 300 children participated.
Sportshall athletics is based on a team format which provides opportunities for children to participate in running, throwing and jumping events which are the fundaments for movement.
The programme in Donegal is coordinated by Donegal Sports Partnership, Donegal Athletics County Board, Athletics Ireland and the local athletics clubs. A number of post-primary schools also provide young volunteers for the programme through their transition year student cohort.
Looking forward to the return of the sportshall athletics programme is Tir Conaill AC’s Eamon Harvey, who is also a board director with Donegal Sports Partnership and was instrumental in bringing the programme to Donegal.
He said “Sportshall athletics has been a launch pad for the athletics careers of many fine athletes who have gone on to represent their clubs, county and country in athletics championships and in Olympic Games. The programme is suitable for all abilities of children with many opportunities for children to experience athletic disciplines such as running, throwing and jumping. So, we are really looking forward to relaunching the programme in 2023.”
Coordinator of Donegal Sports Partnership, Myles Sweeney, is also looking forward to restarting the indoor programme.
“Up until 2020, this programme was one of our most popular within the primary school sector. We are looking forward to getting it off the ground in the new year. At this stage we have sent expressions of interest forms to schools to allow schools to register their interest, and to register for the programme, including the teachers’ workshop which takes place on Monday, January 16th, at a venue to be confirmed,” he commented.
Athletics Ireland National Club Development Manager, Dermot McGranaghan, highlighted the benefits to clubs in building positive relationships with local primary schools.
“The club-school links are very important for the development of athletics in communities. This programme which focuses on the fundamentals of movement is a brilliant way of introducing children to athletics, while the excitement and buzz created by athletics in an indoor setting is a real positive experience for children,” he said.
An online registration form has been issued to all schools via email. The form can also be downloaded by clicking on the link: https://activedonegal.com/programme/donegal-primary-schools-sportshall-athletics-2023/
For further information log on to www.activedonegal.com