Freelancer Niamh Griffin wins the monthly Investec 20×20 Media Award with feature on the emerging importance of PE for sports participation for teenage girls
Niamh Griffin is the Investec 20×20 Media Awards winner for the month of June. Niamh is a freelance journalist, writing mainly about health and sport. Her work appears regularly in The Irish Times (sports pages) and The Irish Mail on Sunday in Ireland. Prior to that, she was the health correspondent for the Irish Mail on Sunday while she continues to write for The BMJ in the UK.
Niamh’s winning article published in the Irish Times entitled: “Leaving Certificate PE is a whole new ball game” is an enticing examination on the potential impact of PE becoming a Leaving Certificate subject. With compelling insights and anecdotes from a range of sources, it debates how the newly adopted Leaving Cert subject could pave the way for more teenage girls to find their sport by securing access to a wider variety of activities in a more formal and structured manner, thus reducing the high dropout rate for girls from sport.
Anna Kessel, Investec 20×20 Media Awards judging panel Chair, said: “It’s great to see the issue of school sport, and how to better engage girls in particular, given a prominent placing in a major publication like the Irish Times. This is a story that can encourage a change in attitudes to physical activity at a time when our kids are less active than ever. As someone who is unfamiliar with Irish state exams, it was great to read about the positive implications of PE becoming a Leaving Cert subject and how it will hopefully curb dropout rates for girls from sport. This new curriculum represents an exciting opportunity for more sports to reach new audiences and change the landscape of school sport for the 21st century.”
Michael Cullen, CEO, Investec said: “Niamh Griffin’s piece not only highlights the importance of physical education for teenage girls and keeping them moving but also emphasises the opportunities for girls to find their place and how they can fit into sport. Whether that’s learning how to coach their peers or harnessing technology to help improve physical performance, physical education can now help address many of the important issues highlighted by the 20×20 initiative.”
Mary O’ Connor, CEO, Federation of Irish Sport added: “The Federation of Irish Sport welcomed the introduction of PE as a Leaving Certificate subject. Niamh’s article rightly points out how it will give girls the opportunity to take greater control while improving their knowledge and personal skills in sports and exercises of their choice. In doing so, it will enable girls to learn about how best to prepare their body and mind to enjoy sport and have a pathway to excel if that is their desire.”
The Investec 20×20 Media Awards recognise and reward excellence in Irish journalism focused on Women in Sport. Investec is a proud sponsor of 20×20, an initiative presented by The Federation of Irish Sport which calls on the people of Ireland to provide more support for women in sport. In demonstrating its commitment to the initiative, Investec has created this new awards scheme to help change the perceptions of women’s sport. The Investec 20×20 Media Awards recognises that increased visibility will lead to greater cultural recognition of girls and women in sport.
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The winning article can be found online at: https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/leaving-certificate-pe-is-a-whole-new-ball-game-1.3885222
To put forward an entry for July Investec 20×20 Media Award and to win €1,000, please visit: https://www.investec.com/en_ie/welcome-to-investec/press/2019-investec-media-awards.html.