Project Fun Direction
Ciaran Duffy a Coach with a dream to get more girls participating in sport in Dublin’s Inner City.
Their Mission: In Ireland, for lots of identifiable reasons, many young girls don’t get the opportunity to experience and participate in sport in their own community, where we can set them on the road of a lifetime of sports participation and all the benefits that offers. We aim to provide girls aged 5-8 with a gateway into numerous sports where we can equip them for a more fulfilling engagement with sport growing up. They will learn about healthy nutrition while developing confidence, social skills and learning to win and lose with dignity.
What’s the reason behind this?
For a number of years now, it has become obvious to me that Irish society doesn’t offer young girls from disadvantaged areas the same opportunities in sport that boys get or girls from more advantaged areas. I’m a big believer in what sport can do for child development regardless of ability and believe all kids should get those opportunities regardless of means, address or gender. I have also seen what good FUNdamental coaching can do for kids of this age in terms of making them physically literate so that they get more fulfilment from any sport when they start going into a team setting at age 9-11. I’m also a big believer in kids trying and taking part in as many sports as possible. For many obvious reasons such as family structure, lack of transport, limited facilities etc, it’s my view that girls from disadvantaged areas such as the north inner city don’t get exposed to age-appropriate coaching in their own community.
What does Project Fun Direction offer?
I have established Project Fun Direction which initially involves 2 multi-sport camps for girls aged 5-8. We have 5 days in St Mary’s Youth Club East Wall starting next Monday July 28th and then 9 days in O’Connells School, North Circular Road starting Tuesday August 5th. The girls will experience 3 sports per day rotating around Football, Camogie, Cricket, Athletics, Martial Arts and Rugby. I have also arranged to supply a healthy lunch and the UCD Institute of Nutrition are coming in to do a fun session with the girls on nutrition and healthy eating.
How long will the project run for?
I will run a once-weekly multi-sport activity in these locations throughout the year when the camp finishes. Ultimately, how many we get coming back over the next 6 months will determine the success or otherwise of this pilot but my plan would be to roll it out in other areas if successful. Dublin City Council have come on board with coaches in a number of sports and I have sourced the Camogie coaching through a personal contact while I will do the football myself.
Have many girls signed up for the camp so far?
I have almost 40 girls signed up for both camps and expect to be close to capacity of 50 in each. 90% have not played sport outside of school and all seem interested in coming back on a weekly basis although this will depend on how much fun they have next week I suspect ! The girls are paying €10 per week for the camp as I have raised funding privately to conduct this as a pliot and received other support from the likes of Dublin City Council and the venues
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