The I.R.F.U. fitness department has joined forces with Irish Gymnastics to complete an interesting fitness project. The I.R.F.U. fitness department and Sligo grammar school have invited Aimi Baker from Irish Gymnastics to complete a 6 week project aimed at improving fundamental movement skills in young players. Aimi has a keen interest in this area and completed her first session this week. The young players found it very enjoyable and challenging. Aimi took the young players through many different exercises aimed at developing fundamental movement skills ( Jump, Land, Roll, Balance etc) which will in turn be beneficial to many sports including rugby.

SligoGrammar1This project is part of an ongoing programme of development that places emphasis on the Fundamental movement Skills. In this particular project we are looking at fun and novel ways of improving young players ‘gound mobility’ through Gymnastics. The aim being to evaluate this 6 week programme on its effects on falling, moving on the ground, getting up and being at all times mobile ‘off the feet’’.

The project was made possible through the help of Tommy Cradock (P.E. teacher Sligo Grammar school) who organised the young players, facilities and class time. The project will be run for 6 week with Aimi coming once a week and while she is not at the school the players will be completing movement skills homework. The young players’ fundamental movement skills were assessed at the start of the project using video analysis and they will be assessed at the end of the project. This will hopefully result in an improvement in balance, co ordination and movement skills in the young players which will turn help the player perform better on the rugby pitch and during other sports.

It is well appreciated that gymnastics is a close relation to all sports and helps develop movement skills. The I.R.F.U. would like to help investigate this and increase the knowledge in this area through this and other projects. This project is part of the I.R.F.U. continued investigation into the best methods to develop all players in the long term development pathway.

The I.R.F.U. fitness department would like to thank Sligo grammar school for their co operating with this project

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Des Ryan (I.R.F.U. Fitness Education Manager), Aimi Baker (Irish Gymnastics Development Officer) & Tommy Cradock (Sligo Grammar School P.E. Teacher)

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