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Ruane discusses success of Sports Programme with IFA

4 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, today met with Howard Wells, Chief Executive of the Irish FA to discuss the progress and extension of the Curriculum Sports Programme.

Introduced last year the programme enables primary schools to access the skills of coaches from both the GAA and IFA. Working alongside teachers the coaches help children to develop physical literacy skills, supporting a life-long interest in being active and in sport.

Speaking after the meeting the Minister said

"Having launched the programme back in November 2007, I was delighted to hear from the IFA the positive feedback they have been receiving from schools and pupils. Last term IFA coaches worked with over 160 schools and over 8,700 pupils helping to develop their physical literacy skills.

"I have been impressed by the commitment shown by both the IFA and GAA and with the dedication and dynamism of their coaches. I recently announced that I have increased funding from £1million to £1.5million in order to expand the programme to increase the number of coaches visiting schools. This will enable more children to access the sports programme and encourage their interest in being active and in sport.

"I was also pleased to hear that, having participated in the programme, a number of coaches have been able to secure full-time teaching posts. These new teachers will be able to bring their knowledge and positive experiences of the programme to their classrooms." ENDS

Note to Editors

Attending the meeting from the IFA were Howard Wells, Chief Executive, Roy Millar, Director of Coaching and Lee Carroll, Head of Grassroots Football.

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