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Third Level APA Programmes

Physical Activity Inclusion programme in CIT

The second year social care students in Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) have just completed a module in adapted physical activity.  This ongoing module involves preparing students to work with people with disabilities and chronic illnesses through recreational physical activities. The module consists both of a theoretical and practical component. For the practical aspect the students work with individuals from various disability organisations in Cork city and county for 5 weeks.

The lecturer and coordinator of the programme is Ona McGrath of the Department of Sport, Leisure and Childhood Studies ,who has a keen interest in adapted physical activity and holds a master’s degree in this area from KU Leuven in Belgium, “This year 30 individuals from the Caritas training centre, Wilton, Rosmini Resource Centre , Bandon (both under the auspices of Brothers of Charity), Enable Ireland , Little Island and the Cork Association for Autism,  all took part in the physical activity inclusion programme. A variety of adapted activities ranging from circuit training, basketball, badminton, uni-hoc, football, boccia and cooperative games are offered to participants”.

She continued to say “the main focus of the programme is on participation and providing achievable activities. Also the programme aims to increase physical fitness, social interaction, self- esteem and enjoyment for all. The social care students gain an invaluable real-life learning experience in this area of study, the inclusion aspect of this module was first implemented in 2008 with the support of the sports inclusion disability officer (SIDO) in Cork Sports Partnership”. It has proven to be a great opportunity for collaboration and linkage between CIT and disability organisations in the city and county. The feedback from all involved has being very positive. In these challenging economic times collaboration not only makes the creative process strong but promotes pooling of resources and experiences for all. A similar inclusion programme runs in semester two involving second year Recreation and Leisure Management students. On completion of the programme the visiting individuals receive a participation certificate. Padraig Healy Sports Inclusion Disability Officer with Cork Sports Partnership stated “great credit must be given to Ona McGrath, CIT and all the students for continuing to develop this programmes since it was established. The participants look forward to meeting the students and taking part in the activities each week, it is fantastic to bring the disability centres on to the CIT campus for an inclusive, community based physical activity programme”. “We are always encouraging organisations and sports clubs to open the door to all members of the community, as we promote sport and inclusion for all abilities.  


Photo shows lecturer Ona McGrath (Department of Sport, Leisure and Childhood Studies) with a group of second year social care students with participants from the Caritas Training centre and Cork Association for Autism on their final day of the programme in November.


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