Pictured Above: Cora Quain, Elaine Shea (Limerick Sports Inclusion Disability Officer), Joe McCarthy and Keith Begley. Picture by: Alan Place.
Students with general learning needs attending Catherine McAuley School in Limerick City are benefiting from a newly launched initiative enabling them to experience adapted tag rugby, a sport that has for many been inaccessible in the past.
The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) in conjunction with CARA Adapted Physical Activity Centre Ltd, Limerick Sports Partnership and Garryowen RFC are facilitating weekly sessions at the South Circular Road based school.
It is anticipated that the Adapted Tag Rugby programme could soon be rolled out to other special needs schools throughout Limerick, as part of the Xcessible Youth Sport Initiative launched nationwide last month. The three-year national-focused initiative is aimed at increasing the participation of children with disabilities in physical activity and sport.
Euan Gee, Community Rugby Officer for Munster Rugby, commented: “The IRFU’s values promote rugby as an inclusive sport and our partnership with CARA and Limerick Sports Partnership will open the game up to more people and increase the number of kids engaging in physical activity and enjoying the fun and other benefits rugby can deliver.”
“We are pleased that Garryowen FC has signed up to the eight week CARA programme, and we hope that the new school-club link can deliver more sustainable opportunities for kids with disabilities to experience and enjoy tag rugby with the rugby club,” said Mr. Gee.
Established in 1961 by the Mercy Sisters in Limerick as a response to the perceived needs for a minority of students who were experiencing difficulties in mainstream education, today Catherine McAuley School provides its pupils with a broad based curriculum, encompassing literacy and numeracy along with a wide variety of vocational subjects.
Deputy School Principal Joe McCarthy described the Adapted Tag Rugby programme as an “exciting addition to the school curriculum and one that suits the physical education needs of our students.”
“We are delighted to support the Adapted Tag Rugby programme, which aims to give a fun introduction to the game of Tag Rugby using modified games and activities, suitable to both indoor and outdoor use,” said Elaine Shea, Limerick Sports Inclusion Disability Officer.
“It gives access to tag rugby equipment and resources materials, as well as up skilling for teachers, who may use the programme as a support to the PE curriculum or as an after-school programme. It is our intention to work with CARA and the Munster Rugby to identify other schools that may be interested in participating in the programme at a future date,” added Ms. Shea.
The initiative will be taking place at Catherine McAuley School until 13th March 2015.
For further information on the Xcessible Inclusive Youth Sport ‘Special Schools Tag Rugby’ Initiative you can contact Michael Gilroy at 066 7145672 / 085 1678790, e-mail him at [email protected], or check out the CARA website here.
For more information about Disability Rugby in Munster, please email [email protected].