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DkIT launches research initiative aimed at getting primary pupils In Louth moving

24 January 2018

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) has today launched the ‘Fun, Play, Move Project’, a new health and physical activity research project which will encourage primary students across County Louth to become more aware of their wellbeing by learning movement skills and staying active. The community-based project is led by lecturers and students from the B.Sc. (Hons.) in Health and Physical Activity programme at DkIT, in conjunction with Louth Sports Partnership and Sport Ireland Coaching. 

The 12-week research project will be introduced across eight primary schools and aims to develop greater understanding of physical activity and physical literacy in Irish primary school children. Fourth-year students from DkIT’s BSc (Hons.) programme in Physical Activity and Health will be assigned to first classes in each school and will deliver a three-phase research programme targeted at pupils, teacher and parents.

Phase one of the research project is a six-week Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) intervention on children’s gross motor skill development. During this phase, DkIT students will coach primary children through the basic building blocks of movement skills which enable a child to move confidently and with control, in a wide range of physical activity, rhythmic (dance) and sport situations. Phases two and three of the project will investigate and explore the attitudes of parents and teachers towards physical activity participation and its promotion in children.

The community-focused research project was developed in-line with the The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 (2011) which endorses the civic mission of higher education and confirms that engaging with the wider society is one of the core roles of higher education.

Speaking today, Dr. Edel Healy, Head of School of Science at DkIT said

“We are delighted to launch this research initiative alongside our partners, Louth Sports Partnership and Sport Ireland Coaching. Regular physical activity is regarded as an essential part of the health and wellbeing of children as it is vital to enhancing physical, social, cognitive and psychological development. Through our research we hope to promote this important message in our own community of Louth and to contribute to the well- being of the youngest in our society.”

Graham Russell, Co-ordinator at Louth Sports Partnership stated that:

"The success and continued relevance of Louth local sports partnership is dependent on the development of sustainable relationships with or stakeholders in Louth. The project is a wonderful example of joined up thinking and collaboration. We are delighted to be working on this project with the DKIT, the primary schools in Louth and Coaching Ireland"

Also speaking today Brid Delahunt a lecturer on the BSc. (Hons) Health and Physical Activity Programme said,

“Research indicates that 4 out of 5 children in Ireland do not meet their daily recommendations of 60 minutes of physical activity of per day. Our research will take a closer look at the reasons why physical inactivity among children may occur by examining the different perceptions of pupils, parents and teachers. We look forward to contributing to the national conversation on the issue.”

Research will be conducted as part of the compulsory research project in the B.Sc. (Hons.) in Health and Physical Activity programme.

To find out more about this programme, click below:

BSc (Hons) in Health and Physical Activity 

You can also contact Fiona Hackett, Programme Director, BSc. (Hons) Health and Physical Activity

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