Laois Sports Partnership update for February

Laois Sports Partnership update for February

Laois Sports Partnership Updates

Disability Inclusion Training

On February 10th, 2024, Laois Sports Partnership held a Disability Inclusion Training session, delivered by Active Disability Ireland. Tailored for Clubs, Carers, Schools, and SNA’s, this workshop equipped participants with invaluable knowledge, skills, and ideas to adapt sports, physical activities, and education sessions. The goal of this session is to enhance accessibility and inclusivity for individuals with disabilities. The training, hosted at Ballyroan Community Hall, aligns with the establishment of an inclusive GAA club for children with additional needs by the local GAA club. A big thank you to the dedicated volunteers and coaches who actively participated. Laois LSP will continue championing inclusion together with our community.

Activator Poles Training 

On Saturday, February 17th, Laois LSP proudly hosted Activator Poles Leader Training in collaboration with Fitwalk Ireland. Our enthusiastic participants, already members of community groups or organisations, with prior Activator Poles experience, and a passion for leadership, embraced this empowering session. This workshop equipped participants to lead comprehensive Activator pole sessions, covering warmup, workout, and warm down. They are now ready to organise safe outdoor community Activator programmes, reaping the numerous benefits, such as improved stability, reduced impact on joints, enhanced core strength, better posture, and a promoted gait pattern. Activator Poles are ideal for various conditions, including post/hip knee surgery, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Osteoarthritis, and Fall Prevention. Let’s continue fostering health and well-being together!

Multiactivity Fun Camp
On February 15th, 2024, the joyous laughter of children and young adults with physical
disabilities filled St. Mary’s Hall during our Multiactivity Fun Camp. From seated volleyball to
wheelchair basketball, skittles, boccia, and target games – every moment was filled with
excitement! These camps aim to inspire and spark a passion for sports and we would love to
see participants exploring opportunities, like joining junior wheelchair basketball clubs in
neighbouring counties. Mark your calendars for the next camp on Thursday, March 28th, in
Rathdowney over the Easter break. For further details, reach out to

Sequence Dance with Maureen Culleton
Sequence Dance led by the talented Maureen Culleton has been taking place over the last
number of weeks. This inclusive dance session welcomes Older Adults, Disability groups,
Parkinson’s Group, NCBI, and the General Population alike. Participants are diving into the
elegance of Pride of Erin Waltz, Ballroom Dancing, St. Bernard Waltz, White Heather
Foxtrot, Bosonova, and Mayfair Quickstep. They are also gearing up for our Tea Dance on
Monday, March 4th, at 11 am in the Parish Centre Portlaoise.

Laois LSP Activator Pole Social Walks took place throughout Jan/Feb, welcoming Older
Adult Groups and Disability Groups. Participants savoured delightful walks around
Portlaoise, concluding with a cup of tea and friendly conversations. The Activator
Programme brings a myriad of benefits, enhancing stability, reducing impact on joints,
building core strength, improving posture, and promoting a better gait pattern. These walks
are suitable for various conditions, including post/hip knee surgery, Multiple Sclerosis,
Parkinson’s Disease, Osteoarthritis, and for fall prevention. The walks were great for
fostering health and camaraderie – where every step counts!

Swimmin’ Women
Laois LSP were thrilled with the successful completion of our Swimmin’ Women (Aqua
Aerobics) programmes, running from January to February 2024 in partnership with Swim
Ireland, Laois Leisure, and Portarlington Leisure. Specifically designed for mid-life females,
these 6-week programs took place in both Portarlington and Portlaoise, attracting an
enthusiastic participation of over 40 women. Stay tuned for more aquatic adventures, and
let’s continue making waves together!

Pregnancy Yoga
This month also saw the conclusion of our Pregnancy Yoga programme with Catriona
Holohan, held from January to February 2024 at the Community Centre in Portarlington.
Designed for pregnant women, this 4-week journey focused on nurturing both mother and
baby.Participants immersed themselves in the benefits of Pregnancy Yoga, experiencing
improvements in sleep, stress reduction, enhanced strength, flexibility, and endurance for
childbirth. The programme also targeted alleviating common discomforts like lower back
pain, nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath. Stay tuned for future programs with
Catriona, as we continue to nurture well-being and joy.

Active Retirement Exercise Programme
Our ‘Active Retirement’ Exercise Programme, in collaboration with Tommy Delaney Fitness
(Mountmellick), has just wrapped up. This programme, designed to encourage participants
of all fitness levels, whether beginners or gym aficionados, concluded with valuable insights
from Tommy on the benefits of exercise and proper gym techniques. Participants were
motivated to continue their fitness journey by becoming gym members, with an exclusive
discounted rate for the first month. We’re thrilled to see our community embracing an active
lifestyle, and we look forward to more empowering collaborations in the future.

Upcoming Programmes/Events
Women in Sport Week

Get ready to celebrate Women in Sport Week, happening from March 4th to March 10th,
2024, targeting women of all ages! This week is dedicated to honouring every woman and
girl involved in sports – be it playing, coaching, officiating, volunteering, working, or leading.

Our goal is to shine a spotlight on the incredible contributions of women in sports and
highlight the ongoing work of LSP’s, Sport Ireland, NGBs, and other stakeholders throughout
Laois. Laois Sports Partnership has an exciting lineup, including females-only programmes,
online sport-specific courses, and interviews with local female sporting heroes. For more
information contact Liam on

Virtual Couch to 5k
As our Couch to 5km programmes near their triumphant finales, including our Virtual Couch
to 5km, we invite you to join us for a special celebration! On Saturday, 9th March (9:30 am),
we’re participating in the parkrun event in Vicarstown, coinciding with Women in Sport Week.
Located at Grand Canal Bank, Vicarstown, Portlaoise, Co. Laois, the Parkrun is a fantastic,
social event. Whether you’re walking, jogging, running, volunteering, or a combination,
everyone is welcome! Register at and don’t forget your scannable barcode
for accurate timing. Parkrun is inclusive, positive, and there’s no time limit – it’s about
celebrating accomplishments together. Join us for a post-parkrun coffee by the canal. Let’s
make this finale memorable!

Laois Hockey Training Session
In collaboration with Laois Hockey Club, Laois LSP will host a Hockey Taster Session in
Leisure Centre Portlaoise, 3rd March, 9.45am till 10.45am. The “give it a go open training
session” is aimed at giving an opportunity for boys to experience hockey, with a view to
increasing male participation in the sport within the county. For more information contact
Liam on

Just Dance Programme for Teenage Girls
We recently launched our ‘Just Dance’ programme aimed at increasing participation /
physical activity amongst inactive teenage girls. The programme is part of the Girls Get
Active and Her Moves Campaigns. Her Moves is designed to inspire and support more
teenage girls to be active, and is about empowering all young women, building confidence,
and providing motivation to find something that gets you moving. This initiative will be
delivered in participating secondary schools throughout Laois in the coming months ahead.

Couch to 50km cycle programme
Our 6-week spinning programme in collaboration with Laois Cycling Club recently
commenced in Laois Leisure. The programme aims to attract new members who have an
interest in cycling and prepare both new and existing members for the upcoming Couch to
50km programme which will commence in April.