Video: Trainee teachers get lessons in GAA coaching sessions
BELFAST and Antrim GAA have been putting trainee teachers through their paces to help prepare them to take GAA coaching into primary schools.
The Five Star Centre project, called Gaelfast, is based on the principle that every child should get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week throughout the 26 weeks of the school year.
Thirty two trainee teachers from St Mary's University in Belfast are preparing to go into 16 primary schools to promote physical activity among boys and girls.
‘It’s an exciting time," said the programme's Games Development Manager Anton McCaffrey. He said the 'Five Star Initiative' would be hugely beneficial for teachers - as well as those promoting the GAA initiative.
He said the new skills provided a "big opportunity" for trainee teachers giving them skills to go into schools equipped to deliver the best in sporting programmes as well as being hugely beneficial to the GAA knowing that staff are trained up to deliver the Gaelic games.
"It will allow them to go into the primary schools with already the experience of promoting GAA and sport within schools."
The initiative has been piloted by the GAA in Killinure and Lisnagry national schools in Limerick and, after encouraging results, will be rolled out in 16 primary schools in Belfast and other parts of county Antrim.
Students, including Jack Hannigan, Megan McGarry and Stephen McConville, spent a day being trained up for the Five Star initiative which means they can now take coaching sessions in schools and promote Gaelic Games.
Jack Hannigan said he was looking forward to getting into schools and seeing how well the initiative works in practice.
"We are enjoying it so hopefully the children will enjoy it twice as much as we do," he said.