The Inclusive Play & Leisure Activities for Youth (i-PLAY) programme is a weekly physical activity programme designed for children, youth, and young people (ages 5-21) with special needs held within the Physical Education & Sports Science (PESS) Dept. here at the University of Limerick. The main goal of this weekly programme is to engage participants in various physical activities (dance, games, HRA, etc.) throughout the academic semester. Each participant will be paired with one of our pre-service Physical Education students receiving individual attention, support, and encouragement. The focus will be on promoting physical activity for young people; incorporating it into their daily life (i.e., school, after school, and at home). The main goals of the programme are:
- To provide children and young people with special needs the opportunity to play and interact socially with peers,
- To provide pre-service Physical Education teachers, through service learning, with the opportunity to gain experience in planning and assisting youth with special needs as it relates to the physical activity setting, and
- To provide families an opportunity to connect with one another as a way to support each other and their children with special needs.
This session will examine how this adapted physical (APA) programme can be utilised to inform ones teaching, research, and service to the community as part of a physical education teacher education (PETE) programme.