Meath Local Sports Partnership
Meath Local Sports Partnership (Meath LSP) was established in 2002 by the Irish Sports Council to plan, lead and coordinate the development of sport and physical activity in County Meath. This is achieved through engagement with sporting bodies, community and voluntary organisations, local and national agencies and statutory bodies.
Meath LSP provides a leadership role for the co-ordination, development and delivery of sport and physical activity opportunities in County Meath within the framework of our strategic plan and the resources available. Our work includes the provision of information on sport and physical activity, the facilitation of education and training opportunities and supporting the development and implementation of programmes and events that encourage greater participation.
Meath LSP works with and supports the work of the staff and volunteers of our partners and stakeholders in promoting participation in sport and physical activity. We are supported in this role by local and national agencies, statutory bodies, sporting organisations and community and voluntary organisations.
Following an extensive review of our second strategy in 2013, “Sport and Physical Activity – a Way of Life” 2007-2012, we launched our new 4 year strategy “Active Meath – More People, More Active, More Often” 2014-2017 earlier this year. This strategy consolidates the work achieved to date and sets about building the framework for a broader range of activities which will incorporate and encourage participants of all sporting and physical abilities.
In order to achieve this aim, we have identified three priority goals as part of our strategy:
- Active Communities – more people, more active, more often. Meath LSP will continue to support a range of sport and physical activity pathways, programmes and facilities in Co. Meath.
- Active Partnerships: Meath LSP will engage with and support the partner organisations and National Governing Bodies of Sport, who make sports and physical activity possible in our County.
- Active Processes: Meath LSP will operate in an effective and transparent manner, grow the capacity of our staff, research our impact, communicate effectively and make best use of our data and IT systems.
Examples of programmes delivered by Meath LSP under the priority goals listed above:
Sports Hall Athletics – a primary school indoor athletics programme focussed on running, jumping, and throwing activities which support agility, balance and co-ordination development.
In Meath over 250 children from 3rd through to 6th class are trained annually in this discipline. Format for delivery includes schools participating in a 6 week training programme, followed by county final with representatives from the different events going forward to represent Meath at the National finals.
The programme is delivered jointly between Meath LSP and Meath Athletics. For some the programme offers an entirely new experience introducing them to athletics in both team and individual events; for others it`s a chance to showcase the skills they have learned with their local clubs.
Games for Life – programme of activities for older adults and people with disability. Programme involves training and developing club and group representatives to deliver a series of activities (Bowls, Kurling, Boccia and Flisk) back to their host organisations. Leagues and competitions in each discipline are run between groups and on county wide level. Since its implementation in 2010, over 800 people in Meath have been impacted upon by the Games for Life Programme. It has changed the face of physical activity for older adults and people with disability.
In 2014 the programme was expanded to include a new activity – Box Hockey. Through the Men`s Shed initiative, equipment for the new activity is constructed and distributed to the local groups. This activity will follow the same format as others above in terms of roll out and delivery.
Be Active ASAP is a national programme introducing 2nd class children to physical activity in a safe, familiar, structured setting, with an emphasis on fun, enjoyment, and learning through a variety of activities. It aims to improve the attitudes of both children and their parents towards physical activity and lay the foundation for positive, lifelong physical activity habits.
The Be Active ASAP echoes the Physical Education Curriculum for Primary Schools. The programme consists of five 6-week blocks of activity (Games, Gymnastics, Athletics, Dance and Outdoor & Adventure Activities).The initiative is led by volunteer teacher leaders and facilitated by volunteer parent leaders. The programme is supported by the Department of Health Promotion and Improvement HSE Dublin North East.
The programme is currently rolling out in 26 Local Sports Partnership`s nationwide. To date, a total of 331 schools, 1,271 teachers have received the training and over 28,000 children and 2,527 parent volunteers have participated in the programme.
Sports Inclusion Disability Programme – overall aim of Sports Inclusion Disability Programme is to support the strategic development and implementation of sport and physical activity for people with disabilities in County Meath.
Key elements of the SIDP include programming, training and education, information provision and a collaborative inter-agency approach to create an inclusive sporting and physical activity environment in County Meath where everyone participates irrespective of ability. To date, the programme has grown from strength to strength with over 400 people with disabilities currently participating in a variety of sporting activities. Activities include soccer, horse-riding, powerchair football, rugby, hockey, fishing, athletics, boccia, new age kurling, walking and tennis to name a few.
A quality training and education programme is also in place which aims to increase awareness and encourage coaches, volunteers, teachers and those involved in the provision of sport and physical activity to have the confidence to provide an inclusive sporting environment where everyone is welcomed irrespective of ability.
The positive impact of the SIDP is not only evident amongst participants on the various programmes but the benefits have been documented by parents, organisations and clubs involved. Many quality collaborative inter-agency programmes currently exist in County Meath – an example of which is the Meath Powerchair Football team. Meath LSP developed Meath Powerchair in conjunction with the FAI, Navan Irish Wheelchair Association and Muscular Dystrophy Ireland. This action-packed team sport combines the skill of the wheelchair user with the speed and power of the chair itself, to participate in an extremely challenging game of soccer. The programme is now in its fourth year of existence in Meath with one player (Thomas Winters) currently part of the Irish senior Powerchair Football squad.
Annually we organise and deliver a wide range of training courses, workshops and physical activity programmes across the County for all ages and abilities.
Training & Development Events Include:
- Workshops in Child Protection, Sports First Aid, Disability Inclusion
- Club Seminar on Garda Vetting Legislation
- Coaching Conference – Pre season conference held in January
- Club Development Resource pack
- Funding information & guidance workshops
- Sports day training for primary school teachers
- Summer camp leader training
Participation Programmes & Events Include:
- Meath Mental Health week – run in association with Local Authority, HSE, Agencies, Community Groups and NGB`s
- Mass participation events -Royal County 5k & All County 5k events, An Post Meath Heritage Cycle tour; Bike week family spin; Operation Transformation walk
- Programme of activities for women and men to include Walk4Fitness; Learn2Run to 5k; Meath Running Group; Mature Movers
- Girls in Action – physical activity programme for secondary school girls
Above is just a sample of the activities and programmes run by Meath Local Sports Partnership. Anyone interested, should contact the office at 046 9067337 or check out www.meathsports.ie or email firstname.lastname@example.org