Latest Laois Sport: Laois Sports Partnership Review for March
Laois Sports Partnership Notes for March 2022
Portlaoise Men’s Shed recently completed a 6-week Tai Chi Yoga programme.
We spoke to Ray Harte, Secretary Portlaoise Men’s Shed to get some feedback on the programme. “The programme went very well. It was a new concept that we ran as a pilot to see how it would be received. This was a new form of exercise for the members, but everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. We were delighted to provide a new experience and new approach to exercise rather than your more traditional forms that may include more vigorous movements such as pushing, pulling, and lifting.”
The Portlaoise Men’s shed currently has between 30-40 members. They are open to including other members of the community in their activities and those participating don’t necessarily have to be members.
Ray also added that “sustainability is a huge part of what we do, we want to be able to offer programmes to the members that we can have a continuation of and grow. We have shared videos of the 10 Tai Chi exercises with the lads so they can hopefully continue to exercise at home. We will look to continue the Tai Chi and incorporate it in other programmes, for example we may plan a walk and stop for 10-15 minutes along the way to perform some Tai Chi. What is great is that this was very inviting for all, older adults and those with disabilities were included which was great.”
The Men’s shed have also participated in other programmes lately which Ray believed contributed to the success of the Tai Chi Programme. “We participated in an activator poles programme recently too. Similar to that of the Tai Chi Programme, using activator poles was a whole new form of exercise for our members. I feel this broke the comfort barrier and helped the lads open up to more new forms of exercise. It’s brilliant to have high levels of engagement particularly when we introduce a new concept. Overall, we are absolutely delighted with the success of recent programmes and look forward to the continuation of them”, said Ray.
Learn to Swim Programme
The learn to swim programme was set up for adults who have a desire to learn how to swim. The aim of the programme was to teach participants how to swim and hopefully continue swimming once the programme is finished. The programme was free to participate in and all participants had to do was register through Eventbrite.
This week was the final week and there were 27 participants that attended the programme with great improvements being made all round.
Swimmin’ Women Programme
A second swimming programme ran adjacent to the ‘Learn to Swim’ programme. The Swimmin’ Women programme was a 6-week programme of aqua aerobics for women who are in their mid-life. The programme is to complete strengthening exercises in the water. 15 participants have come on board for the programme. The programme cost €25 which was excellent value, this equates to less the €5 per session and each participant received a goodie bag containing a swimming had and women’s health pamphlets.
Corrective Gymnastics is a programme that creates the habit of correct body posture in the students through different forms of physical activities both individually and as a team.
The aims of corrective gymnastics are to provide natural forms of exercise that activate the respiratory and circulatory systems. It is getting to know as many forms of physical activity as possible and adopting the correct posture during various situation and scenarios. It helps evoke spontaneity, joy and satisfaction as well as reliable support for activities aimed as shaping one’s attitude. It also helps to strive to self-enforce the habit of correct posture.
This programme was aimed at the Direct Provision community. As many children attend Rath NS, we decided to bring the programme to Rath NS. Over 205 participants took part in the programme.
Self-Defence for Women programme
Self-Defence programme is being run with Portlaoise Combat Academy. This programme was aimed at teaching women the necessary skills of self-defence. There were a total 15 participants signed up to the programme. Those who signed up to this programme received two sessions weekly for 6 weeks. The cost of this programme was €30 for a total of 12 classes over 6 weeks.
Mom and Me Bootcamp
The Mom and Me Bootcamp was set up online for mothers and daughters to participate in an online exercise bootcamp. This was a free to register programme and was delivered online by Seva Strength. The bootcamp took place via zoom on Tuesday evening for 6 weeks with over 34 participants signed up.
Vision Impaired / Blind Football Development Day
Vision Sports Ireland held football development day in Portlaoise AFC in February. Mervue United, Bohemians and Portlaoise AFC are inclusive football clubs for Bind/VI impaired footballers. On the day, representatives from each of the clubs along with members of vision sports Ireland and the FAI Football for All department attended to deliver a number of practices and games for the young footballers. The players participating then sat together and had a well-deserved lunch together after a great session.
The turnout for the session was fantastic and there was a great buzz throughout the entire day.
This is only some of the excellent work being rolled out across the country to allow everyone to access and participate in sport.
Woodlands for health and wellness walks
On the final day of the Woodlands for Health group we had some adapting to do.
Due to the poor weather conditions, participants enjoyed a sit fit class in place of any outdoor activities. Participants also received a wonderful Woodlands for Health pack, the contents can be seen in the pictures below. Unfortunately, we say goodbye to one of our colleagues, Emma. She is an occupational therapist that has delivered some amazing work over the past 5 years and will be missed.
It is fitting that we got to thank her for all she has done during women in sport week, we wish her the very best in her new role
Go for Life fun days (Older Adults Fun Days)
Go for Life fun days (Older Adults Fun Days) began in February 2022. The fun days are on in St. Mary’s Hall every Thursday from 11am – 1pm. This programme has been a real success so far. It is inclusive for all, regardless of age or disability. The feedback and the general mood every Thursday is so positive and it’s great to see so many smiles on people’s faces.
The participants experience a range of different activates each week from dancing to volleyball. The attendance over the past couple of weeks has been fantastic. There is a real high energy in the hall for the 2-hour session.
Generally, the session will begin with some dancing (seated & standing) as a warmup. This is led by two of our tutors, Moez and Susanne who get the sessions off to a great start. The participants love this part of the session, it gets people moving and creates a great atmosphere for everyone.
The participants then move onto some games. Seated volleyball and Scooch have been the most popular amongst the participants. The great thing about both of these games is that there is a good level of competition make it more enjoyable and they are suitable for everyone to participate in.
One of the Older Adults Fun Days occurred during women in sport week, to celebrate this week there were cakes prepared for the participants and a number of TY students came to assist on the day. It was a great sight to have everyone contribute to such a good day, there were men and women, and old and young. This is what we are trying to achieve, everyone active together.
The Kick Fit football programme for women returned this spring in 3 locations throughout County Laois. Portlaoise Leisure Centre, Mountmellick United and Killeshin F.C. were the three hosts of the programme. This programme is aimed at bringing women together to participate in physical activity through playing soccer. The benefits of the programme aren’t just physical. Those who participate have made great friends and have benefitted socially from their participation. The programme was delivered by the FAI development officer for Co. Laois.
Wheelchair Basketball and Rugby
There is wheelchair basketball taking place in Clonaslee Community Centre and wheelchair rugby in Vicarstown community centre. Laois Lions wheelchair Rugby team based in Vicarstown, Co. Laois. Wheelchair Rugby is a mixed team sport for male and female quadriplegic athletes, i.e. athletes with both upper and lower limb impairment. It provides an alternative to wheelchair basketball which caters for lesser impairments. Rugby is a sport which allows players with reduced arm and hand function to participate equally once they are physically able to push a manual wheelchair. Laois Lions Wheelchair Rugby team were established in 2013 and train every Tuesday from 7 to 9pm in Vicarstown Community Hall. This sport is open to all new comers and we have a large amount of chairs in all sizes for newcomers to try out the game.
They are always looking to recruit new volunteers to help out and to get involved. Follow the link below to view a video clip which was recorded when Brian O’ Driscoll took part. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1ELrkAFmCQ&feature=youtu.be
If you would like to give this a try you can contact Catriona 0867935234.