By Laura Stafford
Our project MEMO Move Early Move Often is all about improving fundamental movement skills among young people. In case you are wondering what fundamental movement skills are; they are the basic skills needed to play sport (examples include running and throwing). Without the right technique it is difficult to excel. However based on our own experience as students, our observation of students and feedback from PE teachers in school, we found that these vital movement patterns can often be overlooked. Further, we feel that many students (including some of us!) will leave primary school without being fully competent in them.
Our plan is to concentrate on getting it right with younger children while they are still learning. We contacted four local primary schools, asking would a class from each school like to participate in our workshop. They were all delighted with the idea and for four Wednesday afternoons we welcomed a different school.
At the workshop we had 5 stations set up, each focusing on a different fundamental movement skill. We split the class into smaller groups and spread ourselves among the stations where we corrected the pupils’ techniques and played games that encouraged them to use the right technique.
Having entered eir Junior Spiders with a different project last year it gave us the idea that we could create a website for MEMO. So we set up our new website (http://memocolaistemuire.wixsite.com/mysite) for primary school teachers to use as a resource for teaching PE. On our website we have a variety of games and skills for the kids to learn. We also created short videos to help the teachers explain the right techniques.
The eir Junior Spiders has helped us realise what we needed to do to develop our project.
When setting up a business or project it is always important to do as much as possible to get the word around about what you are doing. Social media can be a huge help. To keep people up to date we have our Twitter page (@MEMOcolmuire), Instagram page and YouTube channel.
We entered MEMO in the PeXpo competition also where we won 3 awards which included the overall senior winner. Our success was because of the amount of work we put in. When taking part in a project you need to put as much energy in as possible. If you take part in a project where you enjoy doing the work then you are bound to do better. We were not forced to do the work, we did it because we wanted to and that is the key. When we organised the workshops we wanted to stay in and work with the children and that is why it was such a fun and enjoyable day for them.
You can check out the MEMO project on Twitter @MEMOcolmuire and Laura’s school Facebook page @colaistemuirecobh