The goal of our project is to hold a Sports Day for the whole school community.
Our Social Issue
As we were debating different social issues for YSI, two topics came up that led to debate on the impact they had on many students. Firstly we looked at how Covid affected many students in different ways. Many younger students found secondary school difficult when Covid rules existed. Social distancing meant that it was difficult to form friendships. Activities and trips were curtailed. PE classes changed format. This affected the holistic development of students. It was decided that we should hold a Sports Day in order to promote physical and mental health. This led on to the second topic that we debated. Students reflected upon previous events and sports days they had encountered throughout their school life. Many felt that some sports days are very competitive and this does not suit everyone. It was decided then that our YSI Sports Day would be inclusive of all.
Who We Worked With
We worked with many stakeholders throughout our project. We met with the Principal, Mr. McGill, Chairperson of the Board of Management, Cllr, Terry O'Brien, members of Tralee Sports and Leisure Complex, the Student Council and wider members of the school community. We are meeting with the Parents Council after the Easter holidays and we have also contacted businesses down town to see if they would sponsor some prizes. We have also asked linked with the Sport and Recreation class from Kerry College of Further Education to help us out on the day with running the event.
How We Communicated
Firstly, we had to get permission form our Principal Mr. McGill and the Board of Management of Coláiste Gleann Lí to hold a sports day. The Chairperson of the school, Cllr. Terry O'Brien requested to meet the team to discuss their idea. We met with Terry and he asked us what we had planned and how we would conduct the day. Cllr. O'Brien is a wheelchair user with many years and is a firm advocate of inclusion and equality. We then surveyed the student community to see if they would participate in such an event. We also asked them to outline any activities they would like to see included. Some of the team had to meet with management of the Tralee Sports Complex to get their permission for the sports day and to find out a date. The date of the Sports Day is 10 May. We intend on meeting with the Parents Council to get their support.
Our Innovative Action and Impact
We looked at the impact of Covid on our school and how many of our usual activities were curtailed. We spoke about the impact of this on younger students. We also examined our five core values of Excellence in Education, Care, Respect, Equality and Community and looked at how we could reflect these in our project. This led to debate on previous sporting events in our school and within Kerry ETB that some students felt were not inclusive (eg. Athletics event). The aim of the Sports Day then became one of inclusion. We wanted everyone to feel welcome and included on the day, no matter their ability. It was recognised that some people have a hidden disability that prevents them from getting involved in many mainstream activities. With this in mind we decided to have a fun element to the sports day. The challenge for the team is to adapt activities and make sure that everyone gets to participate and enjoy the day.