Belfast Telegraph

Primary schools to get new £600k sports coaching programme

A new sports coaching programme has been announced.
A new sports coaching programme has been announced.

Northern Ireland's primary schools are set to benefit from a new £600k sports coaching programme.

The Department of Education has committed the money for a new sports and emotional resilience programme which will be run by the GAA and Irish Football Association (IFA).

The programme will launch in schools during the 2019/20 school year and will focus on pupils aged 7 to 11. The department has committed the funding for one year.

A previous programme employing around 50 GAA and IFA coaches had more than double the budget.

The £1.3m coaching programme finished in October 2018 after the department said it could no longer find the money to fund it.

The BBC has reported the new scheme will involve the GAA and IFA providing coaching at around 300 schools, compared to over 400 under the previous programme.

Funding for the new programme was welcomed by the GAA and IFA in a joint statement.

"The coaching partnership will help develop a life-long love of sport and it is intended that the new programme will have a particular focus on boosting participation among girls," the statement read.

"It is also proposed that coaches will deliver workshops aimed at increasing emotional resilience in Primary 7 school children ahead of their move to secondary education."

A Department of Education statement said that the programme would provide specialist training during PE for Key Stage 2 pupils.

"The programme is an exciting opportunity to strengthen and deepen the delivery of the PE curriculum and introduce children to new sports and skills as they approach the transition to post-primary school," a spokesperson said.

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