First GymABLE Club Inclusion Forum a huge success!

10th December 2019, 21:02pm | GymABLE

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The first GymABLE Club Inclusion Forum took place on Sunday 8th December at the Carlton Hotel in Blanchardstown. This was Gymnastics Ireland’s first forum targeted at club managers, coaches and members with an interest in developing inclusive gymnastics programmes in their clubs.

The day began with an introduction by Brenda O’Donell from Cara Centre and MC Joanne Murphy from Tritalking Sport then continued with keynote speaker, Irish Paralympic swimmer & Paralympic, World and European medallist Ellen Keane who shared her experience with the group. Other speakers and topics of the day included Owen Mooney from Special Olympics on how to engage and coach children with an intellectual disability; Fiona O’Dwyer from Lámh with great insights on helping people communicate; Helen Corrigan & Sherly John from Wexford CAMHS discussing the latest research on ADHD and gymnastics; Janice Brett from St. Cecilias Special School, Sligo presenting ‘Autism and Sport: The practicalities in the gym’; Martin Kavanagh, Education Expert talking about what it means to be inclusive and representatives of Wexford, Dynamo and Cork Acro Gymnastics Clubs in a round table discussion about their experience adapting gymnastics delivery for members with a disability.

On the content of the forum, Janet Hawkins from Coolmine Gymnastics Club said “it was very interesting and informative and the coaches came away with lots of tips to improve our sessions and to move our program forward”. Presenter Sheryl John from Wexford CAMHS added “It was lovely to see all the fantastic work being done around the country and how inclusive clubs are”

Commenting on the day, Gymnastics Ireland CEO Ciaran Gallagher said: “The GymABLE Club Inclusion Forum was a great success with many shared learnings for those that attended. With the recent announcement that we have secured the 2020 funding for the GymABLE programme we look forward to rolling into what will be year 4 of financially supporting clubs to establish inclusive programmes throughout the country. Huge congratulations to GI Participation Manager Aimi Baker and all the clubs that have been involved in making the programme such a success to date."

Aimi Baker, Gymnastics Ireland Participation Manager who lead the organization of the forum added: “What a super day! The aim of this forum was to provide our clubs with the opportunity to learn from experts in the area of disability and also to share knowledge and connect with each other. This was such a relaxed and social way to learn. Roll on the next one!”

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