This past Autumn 2017 session, our i-PLAYERS were treated to some special guests in attendance to celebrate our 13th session of the ‘Inclusive Play & Leisure Activities for Youth’ (i-PLAY) programme. Ciara and Mark Cummins, winners of Ireland’s Fittest Family in 2016, were kind enough to stop by and hand out certificates of participation to our programme participants. It was definitely the highlight of the semester.
First established in the Autumn of 2011, i-PLAY (or Imrím) is a weekly physical activity programme designed for children, youth, and young people (ages 5-21) with special needs. The programme is delivered at the department of Physical Education & Sports Science (PESS) here at the University of Limerick. Led by faculty members Brigitte Moody and Daniel Tindall, 3rd and 4th year PE students participate in the i-PLAY experience as part of the PY4135 – Adapted Physical Activity & Physical Education module. Offered in both the Autumn and Spring semesters, the main goal of this weekly programme is to engage participants in various physical activities (dance, games, health-related activities, fundamental movement skills, etc.) throughout the term. As part of this service learning experience, each participant is paired with one of our pre-service Physical Education students receiving individual attention, support, and encouragement. The focus of the programme is on promoting physical activity for young people; incorporating it into their daily lives (i.e., in school, after school, and at home). Ultimately, the main goals of the programme are:
- To provide children and young people with special needs the opportunity to play and interact socially with peers,
- To provide pre-service Physical Education teachers with the opportunity to gain experience in planning and assisting youth with special needs as it relates to the physical activity setting, and
- To provide families an opportunity to connect with one another as a way to support each other and their children with special needs.
For more information on the i-PLAY programme, please visit us at the following website: iPLAY . There you can listen to an interview conducted in 2011 on Limerick’s Live 95 that further explains the rationale for the programme.
Dr. Daniel Tindall is a lecturer and Course Director for the BSc in Physical Education programme in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick. Daniel is Co-Director of the Inclusive Play & Leisure Activities for Youth (i-PLAY) programme. His research interests include teaching, research, and professional service with a focus in teaching and teacher education in physical education, sport and adapted physical education. Daniel can be contacted via email on Daniel.Tindall@ul.ie or you can follow him on Twitter