1st year Sky Sports Day by Siofra Buckley, TY Student

Borrisokane Community College started work on their project in October 2016 and the event took place in March 2017 during Active School’s Week. The project was run by twenty Transition Year students with assistance from their Physical Education teachers.  Whilst brainstorming for ideas, the idea came about to do a one day Olympics in our school for the First Year students. The theme of “Olympics” gave students the opportunity to show both their creative side and athletic ability. The event had a wide variety of sports to take part in, so that everyone could participate no matter what level of athletic ability they had.

In the opening ceremony the students performed the Haka which was taught to them by Transition Year Students, when practicing they were nervous and self-conscious, however on the day everyone performed with confidence and they enjoyed themselves. There was over ten different sporting events during the day, so it was a great opportunity for students to try sports they had never previously tried. The day not only boosted the first year students’ self-esteem but also the Transition years who rolled out the project. Every student had different skills to bring to the table and each week gained more confidence and maturity.

The Transition years had to make announcements to the first years at various stages of the project this improved their public speaking and people skills. The team worked extremely hard both at school and at home, making home-made flags, dividing the first years into different countries, organising the medals and teaching the first years the Haka. Their dedication and hard work really showed and was the reason the Olympics sports day was such a success. The event was fully inclusive and students from the ASD center were involved massively encouraged and supported throughout the day by the Transition year students. In first year it can be difficult for some students to make friends and get to know the other people in their year group. The Sky Sports’ Project was a great way to let the first year’s bond and get closer as a year group. Students with a high athletic ability were very encouraging and helpful to the other students.

The project taught the TYs many important life skills such as organisation skills, team work and how to work to a deadline. All of these skills will stand to them in the future.

The success of the project has encouraged students who previously did not participate in PE classes, to not only take part in class but to do so with confidence. This day was a learning opportunity to enhance the student’s physical and social wellbeing whilst building life skills and developing a strong sense of connectedness to their school.  The project has brought a huge sense of pride to the teachers and students in our school, the PE department in particular. The event had a very positive effect on our school, as it was enjoyable for all students that took part, and it also encouraged students to be active and healthy which is a subject that our school is very passionate about.