Yesterday, under the auspices of the Unesco Chair in Inclusive Physical Education, Sport, Fitness and Recreation based at IT Tralee the PRIME (Participation, Recreation and Inclusion through Martial Arts Education) project and coaching framework was officially launched. Quite appropriately this was also the International Day of Persons with Disability. This project, funded through the European Union Erasmus+ programme, aims to use the vehicle of Martial Arts to increase participation in sport and physical activity amongst people with disability. Martial arts are seen as an ideal method due to the lifelong nature of peoples involvement and the near infinite variety of choice offered both within the individual styles and amongst them. The ITF were one of four Martial Arts partner organisations involved in the development of the project, represented by Mr David Condie from ITF Scotland.
Master Adrian O’Mahoney, Master Pat Barry and Mr Adrian Byrne attended as representatives of the Irish Taekwon-Do Association and were very pleased to play an active part in all discussions, panels, lectures and practicals throughout the day. Our learning from the day and from the materials that have been developed by the PRIME group will be shared through; meetings of the Inclusion committee, modifications to the coach education programme and CPD through the IMAC Inclusivize workshops. A website sharing all of the materials as well as a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) will be live in January and available to all.
There was much food for thought and the breaks were filled with discussions amongst ourselves, with the various experts and with our colleague Jane Harvey from SCOT (Scottish Council of Taekwon-Do). There are many ideas and opportunities for collaboration arising from this very educational day and we hope to begin implementing them immediately.