BY EOIN EVERARD
Fifth and sixth year students from CBS and Presentation Kilkenny were down in Waterford last Friday to experience the first Leaving Cert PE Workshop at the South East Technological University. With PE recently becoming a leaving certificate subject it has led to some exciting but demanding challenges for schools. The PE curriculum now requires students to complete a relevant project and to study the areas of Nutrition, Psychology, Biomechanics, Physiology and others. Getting practical experience with these areas can help the students with their projects but also underpin the theory they have to learn. However, the equipment required for some of these elements can be very expensive for schools.
This is where the SETU Waterford Workshops come into play. The Department of Sport and Exercise through their various sport and health degrees have world class equipment and facilities that can be used by the PE students of the South-East. Head of the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, Prof. Michael Harrison outlines the benefits of such a day to students in the South-East, “It is great to be able to provide leaving certificate PE students with a chance to see different experiments such as a Lactate test, use our jump mats and speed gates and get talks from our different lecturers in their area of expertise”. “While predominately we have this equipment for our own Sport, Health Promotion and Exercise science students, it is great to offer a resource for the region”.
Matt Ruth (CBS PE Teacher) remarked that “The students loved the experience. Getting to perform different speed, endurance and power tests was great for them. They could how the material they learn in class can be applied practically. Lisa Carey from Presentation Kilkenny added that “Having different experts like Dr. Aoife Hearne from Operation Transformation talk on Nutrition was great. Giving our students a chance to hear information again from different voices was brilliant and shows the students that the things they are learning in our classes have relevance in the sporting world.
WIT and IT Carlow have recently joined together to form SETU. The new president has recently stated that she hopes SETU will become a resource for the whole of the South East region. From talking with students and teachers involved in this PE open day this seems like a great start to this promise.