Fittingly, Thursday 8 March, International Women’s Day, saw the official launch of an innovative Gaelic Games Leadership programme at Mary Immaculate College, a programme that will amongst other things, examine how best to promote gender equity in school and club contexts.
The voluntary, extra-curricular programme will provide participating students with essential
leadership skills for use in primary and secondary school contexts, and indeed in the wider
community. Over the next few weeks 2nd and 3rd year students from MIC will be invited to apply for a place on this programme.
Successful applicants will cover a range of issues relating to the promotion of Gaelic games in school and community contexts, including coaching, refereeing, administration and public relations.
Speaking about the initiative Dr Richard Bowles, lecturer in Physical Education, MIC said
“This programme will explore how our students can help children to develop fundamental
movement skills (FMS) and physical literacy, while at the same time enhancing their own
leadership skills. We will ensure that maximizing children’s participation is at the forefront of
our approach. In this context, we will examine how best to promote gender equity in schools
and clubs. Promoting inclusive practice, and addressing barriers to participation such as
social disadvantage and cultural diversity, will underpin our activities”.
According to Professor Eugene Wall, President (Acting) of Mary Immaculate College: “Our
long-term aim for this programme is to foster leadership skills that will enable our students to
make valuable contributions in schools, clubs and the wider community. The event also served to acknowledge the stellar sporting achievements of many MIC students, including 22 females, who achieved national success at club and county level in hurling, camogie and Gaelic football during 2017. According to Prof. Wall, who presented the 32 students with a medal in recognition of their success “these achievements demonstrate a deep commitment to sporting excellence, in addition to their dedication to their academic studies.”
Also speaking at the event was Dr Angela Canny, Acting Dean of Education who said: “We
are especially delighted that 22 award recipients are women – these women are important
role models for young girls and indeed young boys in demonstrating what is possible for
girls. The importance of female role models cannot be over-estimated as research has
consistently found that role models are important in helping to initiate change in a whole
range of under-represented areas such as sport”.
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