Pupils jump at opportunity to learn from champ Eamonn
HE was a world champion athlete in his day -- now Eamonn Coghlan is promoting physical education in primary schools.
The Fine Gael senator is piloting a programme called 'Points for Life', in association with the Department of Education.
Pupils in four primary schools in north Wicklow -- St Laurence O'Toole's in Roundwood; St Cronan's in Bray; Moneystown National School; and St Patrick's in Curtlestown, Enniskerry -- are to be monitored and the results will be evaluated at the end of the school year.
The findings will be presented to Education Minister Ruairi Quinn and Mr Coghlan hopes it will be incorporated into the curriculum.
The three-time Olympian, who won the 5,000m gold medal at the World Championships in 1983, said while the traditional approach to physical education was that children were instructed to run, jump, throw and catch, they were not shown the basics to do it properly.
He said 'Points for Life' was not about developing elite athletes, but getting the very basics of physical education right so that children were more likely to pursue a lifelong interest in sport and physical activity.
"The programme will teach the children what physical literacy is all about, not just about its value in the short term, but as something that has lifelong benefits," he added.