We are delighted to participate in the Sky Sports ‘Living For Sport’ project introduced to schools in Ireland for the first time for the 2013/14 academic year. The project uses sport stars and sport skills to improve the lives of thousands of young people.
Sport helps people think, helps people listen, helps people to speak up and helps people work together. Different sports inspire different people but one thing is true: there’s a sport for everyone and it can change your life. As part of the project Sky Sports Athlete Mentor works with each participating school and we were delighted that Irish and Munster rugby legend Alan Quinlan was assigned to us! A small group of students was selected to pilot the project for the school and as Girls Soccer had recently been added to the extra-curricular programme at Colaiste na Trocaire, we felt it was a good idea to run the programme with the Junior Girls Soccer team.
On November 6th 2013, Alan Quinlan visited the school for his first visit as part of the project. He explained what the programme was about and why Sky Sports were rolling it out here in Ireland. He spoke of how sport can have a massive impact on the lives of young people both in terms of physical activity but also socially and psychologically. Alan spoke of the 6 Keys to Success as outlined by Sky Sports which are designed to help young people develop valuable life skills that will help them in and outside of school, now and into the future.
The six keys to success are:
- Mental toughness
- Hunger to achieve
- People skills
- Sports and life knowledge
- Breaking barriers
- Planning for success
As well as talking us through the aims of the programme, Alan also delivered different teamwork activities to the girls to get them working and thinking as a team. Part of the project involves the target group developing the 6 Keys to Success and then utilising these by organising an event for another group in the school.
As the girls had an expertise in soccer, it was decided that they would start coaching 1st and 2nd Year girls in soccer on a weekly basis. For this they had to plan the coaching sessions individually and show their work in their coaching notebooks to Mr Phair. Every Friday the girls were then split into groups and coached the 1st and 2nd year girls on the numerous key skills. Sky Sports supplied t-shirts for the girls and they were them while coaching each week.
Coaching continues to take place every Friday from 3.30 to 4.45 and we are hoping to organise some matches for the 1st and 2nd Year girls in the coming weeks!
On January 14th 2014, Alan Quinlan returned to the school to conduct a second workshop with the girls. He heard about how the project was going at Colaiste na Trocaire and the successes and challenges we had faced. Alan then gave an inspiring presentation about all the challenges he faced in his career as a professional athlete and the successes he was a part of and he linked these in with the 6 Keys to Success. In the afternoon the girls showcased some of their athletic abilities in the school hall and Alan presented the girls with wristbands for continuing to take part in Sky Sports wonderful project.
The girls are extremely committed to continuing with the coaching and we are all looking forward to Alan visiting us again later in the year!