Session #6 Workshops

Workshop 1

Keeping Youngsters Involved Project - Key findings and a practical tool to help prevent youth (12-19 years) sports dropout.


Joey Murphy, Catherine Woods, Dorien Dijk

Outline of the Workshop:

Aim:to present the key findings from the Keep Youngsters Involved (KYI) project and run an interactive workshop using the KYI card game.

Key Learning Points: 

1.     Increase understanding of 14 factors for preventing youth sports dropout, including how they fit into the KYI framework.  

2.     Acknowledge the range of actions available for preventing youth sports dropout, which revolve around the youngster linking in with the “child-centred approach”.

3.     Identify actions for preventing youth sports dropout that apply to your context through the KYI card game. 

Key Content:The workshop will begin with a presentation form Prof. Catherine Woods and Dr. Joseph Murphy. This will look at how the project partners identified 14 factors, developed a KYI framework, and created an interactive card game aimed at preventing youth sports dropout. This will be followed by an interactive session where the workshop participants will be asked to participate in a KYI card game, which aims to identify key actions for preventing youth sports dropout in your organisation or country. Participants will be expected to share experiences, provide insights and develop a greater understanding into the pathways of keeping youngster involved in sport through this applied and practical workshop.

On the web

Dorien Dijk

Twitter: @DijkDorien

Facebook: Dorien Dijk 

Catherine Woods

Harrington, D.M., Murphy, M., Carlin, A., Coppinger, T., Donnelly, A., Dowd, K., Keating, T., Murphy, N., Murtagh, E., O’Brien, W., Woods, C. and Belton, S., (2016)  Results From Ireland North and South’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2016, 13 (Suppl 2), S183 -S188

Hardie Murphy, M.Rowe, D.A. and Woods, C.B. (2016)Sports participation in youth as a predictor of physical activity: A 5-year longitudinal study. Journal of Physical Activity and Health.  DOI:

Joey Murphy

Twitter: @JoeyJMurphy

ResearchGate: Joseph J Murphy

Staff Profile:


Murphy, J. J., Woods, C. B., Murphy, M. H., Murphy, N., Byrne, N., & Mac Donncha, C. (2019). Student Activity and Sport Study Ireland: Protocol for a Web-Based Survey and Environmental Audit Tool for Assessing the Impact of Multiple Factors on University Students’ Physical Activity. JMIR research protocols, 8(2), e10823.

Murphy, J. J., MacDonncha, C., Murphy, M. H., Murphy, N., Timperio, A., Leech, R. M., & Woods, C. B. (2019). Identification of health-related behavioural clusters and their association with demographic characteristics in Irish university students. BMC public health, 19(1), 121.

Murphy, J. J., Murphy, M. H., MacDonncha, C., Murphy, N., Nevill, A. M., & Woods, C. B. (2017). Validity and reliability of three self-report instruments for assessing attainment of physical activity guidelines in university students. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science21(3), 134-141.


Club Captains in Youth Sport


Amanda Ní Ghabhann

Youth Development Officer, Swim Ireland

Outline of the Workshop:

The Club Captains in Youth Sport project developed a programme to train and support young athletes who take on the role of captain in their sport. The 1 day programme develops the athletes skills in Communication, Conflict Management and most importantly Resilience. The idea initiated from our young athlete’s confusion around the role and we realised, for the most part, we train and support every other role in sport but expect our young people to take on an important job without so much as discussing expectations. 

The workshop will consist of an outline of the project and then an interactive example of one part of the Club Captains in Youth Sport programme. The Activity will look at Team Building and Resilience, and the supports a captain has at their disposal, or not. 

Intro – 10 mins

Activity prep – 10 mins

Activity testing – 10 mins

Activity debrief – 15 mins

On the web

Twitter: @swimireland @Danigh_a 

Facebook: /swimireland

Instagram: @swimireland @danigh_a

Workshop 2

Moving Well-Being Well: A Physical Literacy Approach to Coaching Children


Stephen Behan & Cameron Peers

Outline of the Workshop:

Aim:To instil participants with a knowledge of what physical literacy is, and how to practically apply it in their coaching

Key Learning Points: To understand Physical literacy and its components, and the importance of it in coaching children to encourage future participation. 

Key Content:  Physical Literacy, current research around Physical Literacy, how to implement physical literacy into your coaching

Practical: The practical aspect of the workshop will entail participants being brought through a series of skills. These skills will start at their most basic level before being progressed through to more sport’s specific skills. The aim of the practical will be to show coaches how to do this in a holistic manner while taking all the elements of physical literacy development into account. 

On the web

Cameron Peers

Twitter: @cameronpeers

Stephen Behan

Twitter: @behan_s

Other: The Coaching Bubble Podcast  @BubbleCoaching

Workshop 3 - Case Studies of Children in Sport - Ireland

Fostering a life-long ‘vocation’ for Ladies Football – “Where I belong ….”


William Harmon

Aim: To demonstrate how Ladies Football promotes through fostering a positive coaching environment that develops and retains the club, its coaches and players.

Key learning points: Importance of:

·      Adopting high quality player centred coaching structures and methods whereby your players feel like they belong

·      Delivering an inclusive programme for all players, focusing on a wide variety and level of abilities 

·      Providing a positive learning, safe and fun environment for players to increase life-long participation, fundamental skill proficiency and enhancing psychosocial wellbeing 

Key Content: In LGFA, it is our belief that players who experience a positive coaching environment early in sport will adopt a ‘love’ for the game and enhance life-long participation. The development of LGFA participation and retention LGFA for example Gaelic4Girls (G4G) and Gaelic4Teens (G4T) respectively and being creative in our approach to playing opportunities such as Go Games help reinforce the key principles that underpin why we do what we do from a coaching perspective. G4G/G4T Programme and Go Games models focus on coaching behaviours and methodologies. Clarity on values, ethos and policy will help clubs and coaches be the best they can be on playing field. This requires patience and time!!!

On the web

Twitter:  @LadiesFootball

Facebook: @LadiesGaelicFootball

Child centred coaching and development – a Cycling Ireland perspective


Rachel Ormrod and Barbara Connolly

Aim:The aim of this presentation is to explore the structure of development within cycling as promoted by Cycling Ireland, from fundamental skills at an early age through to later childhood, as a lead into early adolescence and further involvement in the respective disciplines of the sport.

Learning and physical literacy is promoted through a range of, fun and enjoyable, skills development programmes which provides a robust framework to support the development of lifelong skills and habits. 

We will take you on a journey through these opportunities for children to develop their skills and themselves through cycling, whilst also touching on some of the challenges we find within our sport.

On the web



Coaching Children in Triathlon (More than just Swim/Bike/Run)


Anna Grealish

Aim:Discuss how to develop Triathlon Training Session for Children. Looking at the key concepts of volume, focus, recovery and enjoyment this workshop will discuss how we coach the skills needed in triathlon to children.

Introduction:Video- Highlights from our junior and youth triathlon events. Examples of race distances and events for children.

Content:Identify the challenges and benefits of coaching a three disciplined sport. How we transition from coaching 8-12 to 12-15 year olds. Examples of skills based training. How we make the skills required as an adults appropriate for children. Consider how you would deliver one of the skills session to a group of children.


On the web

Twitter: @TriathlonIreland

Workshop 4

Coaching Children in Football – the Belgian Approach


Kris Van Der Haegen

Outline of the Workshop:

Kris will take the concepts outlined in his Keynote presentation and examine how these can be applied in a soccer clubs – from policy and committee level, through the programme for players 5-12 years; and the support of coaches.

On the web
Twitter: @KVDHaegen

Other: Linkedin Kris Van Der Haegen

Workshop 5

Nutrition for Children – up to 12 years


National Dairy Council

Workshop 6

Coaching Fundamentals of Movement and Fundamental Movement Skills to Children aged 5-9 years


Owen Mooney

Aim:Practically guide coaches to help develop the FUNdamentals of Movement & FUNdamental Movement Skills for children using a variety methods.

Key Learning Objectives:

1) Develop a series of progressions within a session to show how the coaches can pitch the session and take it to the next level and in a similar manner

2) Understand the importance of Questioning, Free Play, Problem Solving and Creativity for the overall learning experience of the child and also the coach.

3) Be able to create stimulating FUN opportunities within the activities to improve decision making, team work, creativity and learning. 

Key Content:During this interactive practical workshop I will be using my experiences as a coach and coach educator to show how coaches, parents and all adults should trust children for their own learning and development. I will incorporate different learning aids, equipment, coaching styles and tools that work extremely well in engaging children during my coaching. 

Note:We are the facilitators for the child’s learning and develop. It is vitally important that we as adults allow each child to have the freedom to express themselves when it comes to their learning and development because learning is FUN. Children need to be treated like children and by facilitating a child’s imagination and creativity we are opening up a whole new learning experience for ourselves as coaches, as well as the children.

On the web

Twitter: @MooneyOwen

Facebook: Owen Mooney

LinkedIn: MooneyOwen

Instagram: @MooneyOwen



Workshop 7:

GymAble & the Young Athlete Programme


Aimi Baker, Clare Sheehan


Gymnastics Ireland GymABLE - an inclusive programme targeted at providing gymnastics opportunities for people with disabilities

Aim:The aim of the Gymnastics Ireland GymABLE Programme is to provide gymnastic opportunities for people with disabilities. As well as providing opportunities to take part in our National Events, GymABLE supports and motivates clubs to drive and develop their own Disability Gymnastics programmes. 

Key Leaning Points:

-       What the GymABLE programme is about

-       How Gymnastic Ireland clubs are developing their programmes

-       How gymnastics can benefit children with disabilities

-       How to get involved

What Learners will do: The workshop will be a combination of theory and applied and will follow on from the Young Athlete Presentation from Special Olympics (PART 1)

-       A brief description of the programme will be delivered, followed by a practical demonstration of the programme. The aim is to have participants involved in the demonstration. Leaners will get the opportunity to watch and try some gymnastic activities that have been adapted for children with disabilities, led by a disability gymnastics coach and supported by Limerick Special Olympic Athletes.

-       The skills demonstrated will aim to show a natural progression from the fundamental movement skills in the Special Olympic Young Athlete Programme to more Gymnastic Specific skills for children with disabilities.

Note:Learners need to be suitably dressed to be active participants

On the web

Aimi Baker, Clare Sheehan


Geraldine McTavish

Title: Special Olympics Ireland –Young Athletes Programme

The aim of Young Athletes is to establish a programme of play and sport activity for children with intellectual disabilities from 4 – 7 years.

It introduces children to a wide range of play activities in a familiar, supportive and fun environment and introduces the fundamental movement skills such as throwing, catching, jumping and balancing. 

The benefits of physical activity are well known and the benefits of the Young Athletes Programme go far beyond play and sport.

  • helps children learn how to communicate and interact with each other 

  • promotes the development of learning and self-help skills

  • introduces children and their parent's to the Special Olympics and a support network

  • prepares children for joining a Special Olympics Club in the future

  • fosters an interest in sport and physical activity

The workshop will be a combination of theory and applied. A brief description of the programme will be delivered followed by a practical demonstration of the programme. The aim is to have participants involved in the demonstration.

The outcome of the session will be to demonstrate how to deliver a session for Young Athletes. It will also highlight how the programme leads to fostering future involvement into structured sport and physical activity by enhancing athletes’ fundamental movement skills and developing confidence.

On the web

Geraldine McTavish

Twitter: @soireland


Other: Instagram @specialolympicsireland

Workshop 8:

Skill Acquisition for Children – Learning the Fundamentals of Movement


Dr Phil Kearney

Outline of the Workshop:


Through a range of practical activities, this session will empower coaches to apply core principles of skill acquisition in their practice to facilitate children’s learning and retention in sport.

Key learning points

·      Children’s learning may be enhanced by considering what the coach does, what the learner does, and how the broader club environment is structured.

·      Movement variability is a valuable resource for coaches to exploit to enhance learning and motivation.

·      Using variability to develop children as competent movers also offers opportunities to develop children as skilful learners.

Key Content

Practical strategies to incorporate movement variability into fundamental movement skill practices to enhance learning and motivation.

What the learners will do during the workshop (applied and/or practical)

Phil will first guide attendees through a framework to encourage movement pattern variability using one exemplar fundamental movement skill. Subsequently, attendees will work in small groups to apply the framework to an additional fundamental movement skill of their choosing. Attendees will then be challenged to progress their activities beyond developing competence in one skill to helping their charges to learnhow to learn. Finally, coaches will reflect on how their broader club environment supports their practice as coaches. And we’ll have some fun along the way.

On the web

Twitter: @kearney_phil, @MSAIreland


Adrian Byrne