Sport for Success – a novel approach to breaking barriers to third-level educati

Monday, 11 April 2005

Pupils from 4th, 5th and 6th classes in a number of selected Galway City schools will tonight (Monday 11th April) celebrate the completion of a 'Sport for Success' programme in NUI Galway, designed to encourage pupils in disadvantaged areas to continue their education right up to and including third level.

Packie Bonner, former Republic of Ireland soccer star, will present certificates at 7.00pm (Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building), to pupils from St. Michael's Boys School, Mervue, Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue and Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla, who have completed the programme.

'Sport for Success,' part of NUI Galway's Access programme since 2002, is a combined sport and homework initiative that promotes third level education and the value of education itself, as well as improving sporting techniques and skills.

On one afternoon each week over the spring term, pupils come into the University where Access students and Access university under-graduates provide help and guidance with homework. On completion of that task, the pupils can then enjoy an hour of popular sports such as soccer and basketball. They learn new sports such as uni-hockey, climbing on the climbing well, Tai-Bo, spinning and juggling.

According to Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer: "The children really benefit from the 'Sport for Success' programme. It helps students develop personally by building their self esteem, confidence, communication skills and social behaviour through team games and sport activities in addition to their educational attainment, especially improvement in numeracy and literacy skills."

Professor Ger Hurley, Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway said: "The very fact that ten, eleven and twelve year olds are participating in a university-run programme is a powerful positive action which will no doubt focus these young minds on future achievement and educational attainment."

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