Youth Sport Leadership Awards
Students Awarded Certificates for Cross Border ‘Youth Sport Leadership Award’
On Monday 5th May 99 secondary school students from Sligo, Omagh and Fermanagh were awarded their certificates for completing the new Youth Sport Leadership Award. 35 Sligo students in total from Coláiste Iascaigh, Coola Post Primary, Corran College, Sligo Grammar School, Mercy College, Ursuline College and Jesus and Mary Secondary achieved this valuable award.
Sligo VEC in partnership with the Western Education & Library Board through the project ‘Developing a Shared Society through Youth Sport’ developed this exciting new youth leadership award. This project is funded under Peace III programme.
The ‘Youth Sport Leadership Award’ is aimed at students from TY and above in secondary schools and is accredited through the Open College Network. The ‘Youth Sport Leadership Award’ aims to improve communication and teamwork skills, build confidence, self esteem and social skills. Students gain experience in event management and learn how sport can be used as a tool for promoting diversity. Students completed three modules; Developing Group & Teamwork Communication Skills, Taking Part in Sport and Understanding Diversity through Sport.
This is a cross border award where students from both sides of the border are educated together. In the process of completing this award these students participated in interactive learning workshops delivered by the projects Sports Development Officers Theresa Kilgannon (Sligo VEC) and Ryan Cunningham (WELB). These workshops brought together the students from each of the participating schools, where they got the opportunity to meet each other and work together to discuss and learn about the different modules content. Students participating in the ‘Youth Sport Leadership Award’ worked on this award throughout the school year. They were required to take up a sports activity for six sessions, organise a sports event at their school, present a PowerPoint presentation and complete workbooks for each of the award modules.
The Award ceremony took place in Belleek, a central location for all schools involved. Students were presented their certificates by both the CEO of the WELB Barry Mulholland and CEO of Sligo VEC Shaun Purcell. Also present to congratulate the students were Gillian Costello (The Irish Sports Council), Deirdre Lavin (Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership) and joint project Chairmen Jack Lynch (Sligo VEC) and John Campbell (WELB).
SDO Theresa Kilgannon ‘thanked the schools for taking this project on board and for providing this opportunity to their students, and the co-ordinating teachers within the school who encouraged students to take up and participate in this new award’.
One of the Youth Sport West School Co-ordinating Teachers said “this is a fantastic opportunity for these pupils; this award will provide them with leadership skills at a young age, creating better skilled leaders in the future, and it is great to see that this is an accredited award which will stand to these pupils in the future”
The second year of the Youth Sport Leadership Award got under way in September of this school year, there are currently 120 students participating in Year 2 of this accredited award.
This is one element of the Youth Sport West project, which also runs an extensive programme of cross border activities creating opportunities for exchange and contact at primary and post primary level. These activities promote an atmosphere of teamwork and provide an ideal avenue for shared experiences and co-operation between pupils of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds through the medium of sport.It also aims to provide extra-curricular sporting opportunities for children in primary schools and secondary schools by creating an environment in which every young person can be encouraged and enabled to derive benefit from participation in sporting activities, believing positive sporting experience, in the early years, will contribute to continuing participation throughout adult life. Youth Sport West is co-ordinated by Sligo Vocational Educational Committee and the Western Education & Library Board of Northern Ireland and has been operating successfully for eleven years.