An innovative new project to promote inclusion in gaelic games called ADAPt (Autism and Disability Activity Project) was announced this week. ADAPt is a collaborative project aimed at providing opportunities in physical activity and sport for children with autism and / or physical or learning disabilities.
ADAPt shall provide sport-specific training for GAA coaches to mentor children with autism and physical disabilities. It shall also reach out to children and families within the Belfast area to offer opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity tailored to their needs. Coordinated by Gaelfast, the project brings together partners to deliver a pilot project (until June 2020) funded by Sport NI and Belfast City Council based at St Mary’s University College Belfast.
Speaking after a meeting yesterday, Gaelfast Chairperson Mr Terry Reilly said:
“This concept comes from engagement with parents whose children have autism or disabilities and who would like to take part in gaelic games. Those children and parents should feel included and welcome. Physical activity and sport is good for everyone.
"The challenge for those of us who lead in the provision of gaelic games in Belfast, and elsewhere, is how we can adapt our coaching practice and games provision to include children with autism and disabilities. With help from our partners in this project, and from parents and children who enrol to take part, we hope to adapt how we coach and deliver games to include everyone. For Gaelfast, this is only a beginning.”
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