“If children have confidence in their ability to move, they will engage in physical activity for longer.”
Setanta College student Trevor Cummins discusses what motivated him to take on a project of getting kids more active over the summer in his local community.
From previous coaching experience within the sport-specific field, I have witnessed a considerable lack of competency in the most basic of movement skills. Young athletes incapable of running with anything resembling correct form, struggling to perform any type of multi directional movement without some level of difficulty.
While kids are very readily marked down as potential goalkeepers, scrum-halfs or full forwards within their clubs, too often the ability to move competently is overlooked in favor of a more sport specific form of thinking.
Of course, it is not just the youngsters who play sport that need to develop their ability to move well. All children should be encouraged to practice and develop the fundamental movement skills. In doing so, we will increase the likelihood of the same youngsters fostering a confidence and enthusiasm for lifelong physical activity.
For children of times past many of these abilities would have been honed in the more natural environments of street and field play but with reduced time for free play opportunities, children are now less likely to get adequate exposure to these skills.
We’re very excited to launch Cobh’s first ever FUNdamental Movement Skills event this week when we host our three day ‘Ready Steady Go Kids!’ summer camp at John Murphy Memorial Park within Carrignafoy Community College Grounds.
The opportunity to give youngsters, aged between 3 and 12years, exposure to the foundation movement skills is one which we believe will not only improve their own physical development but also afford their accompanying parents and guardians an insight into the type of games and activities which are known to positively influence this process.
We’re very happy that all of the coaches working on next weeks camp have developed their knowledge in this area with the help of Setanta College’s ‘Movement Skill and Fitness Development (Level 1 The Child)’ course. Jessica Bruton (Triathlon Ireland) and Damien Byrne (GAA) are already certified coaches within their respective sports and bring with them a keen interest in the Fundamental Movement Skills from their teaching careers.
Delivering safe, fun and age appropriate games and activities will be the means by which we look to enhance the skills of the boys and girls who join us. The classes will allow the young participants a chance to practice movements such as running, hopping, catching, skipping, throwing, jumping, kicking.
Seeing an opportunity to develop the physical literacy of children in our community is what has motivated us to take on this project and we are very excited to get kids moving in the right direction from this week onwards. While it would be nice to think that similar work nationwide would positively impact the performances of the next generation of Irish athletes, the bottom line here is competency of movement. If children have confidence in their ability to move, they will engage in physical activity for longer. That in itself will be a success for us all.
Trevor Cummins is currently reading for a BSc Degree in Strength & Conditioning with Setanta College as well as operating his own successful coaching service which helps people of all ages and abilities increase activity levels, improve fitness and enhance performance. You can follow @TrainWithTrevor across all social media platforms.