There are some days that can truly inspire and yesterday was one of those in the company of 600 students from around the country for the annual PExpo event at DCU.
There were 205 projects on display from groups of students who put their imagination, energy and effort into looking at different projects linked together by the impact which PE has on their lives and those of young people across the country.
The projects were divided into Games Development, Sports Psychology, Nutrition, Technology, the Power of Sport, Wellbeing and The Science Behind Sport.
In terms of quality the presentation and explanation of the projects across the board was exceptional, every bit as impressive as at the longer established and still bigger BT Young Scientist Exhibition but with the advance of PE on the Leaving Cert curriculum for all schools from 2020 we are confident this will be every bit as big in years to come.
The overall winners were Aisling Flood, Nadine O’Brien and Tara Hegarty from St Bricins college in Belturbet, County Cavan for their project on the perceptions of body image and emotional wellbeing.
We will have a feature on this winning project on Sport for Business next week.
As supporters of the event, we were pleased to sponsor the Sport for Business award for a project which we believe has some potential to be developed into a business idea.
The winners in this were Éabha Mooney, Robyn Clarke Greene and Ishita Gupta from Luttrellstown Community College in West Dublin for their project looking at how video analysis and comparison can improve performance.
Using the simple camera technology that every teenage hand clings to via their phone, they showed how filming single technical elements of a players performance and comparing it to those of established players can reap real rewards.
Éabha Mooney is a Camogie player herself with school and St Peregrine’s GAA Club. They filmed the technique of her teammate in goals and pointed out elements of how she was setting up on puc outs before comparing it to shots of Cork All Ireland winning captain Áine Murray taken from RTÉ’s coverage of the Liberty Insurance All Ireland Camogie Final.
Simple changes meant that in an admittedly small sample she was able to go from 50% of puc outs won to 90% with greater control and greater accuracy being the key.
In Basketball, similar filming and comparison led to improvement in free throw percentages from 66% to 80%.
It was explained clearly and concisely and the amount of work that went into getting it right, as well as innovation into overcoming challenges that presented themselves marked the girls out as winners.
They will now have the opportunity to present their project at Partners ’19 a major Sport for Business event linking National Governing Bodies and Sporting Organisations with those in the commercial world which we will be announcing in the coming weeks.
It was a day to leave you feeling that the future of sports development in Ireland is in safe hands. We are already excited about how we can help it to grow again in 2020, with the help of Sport for Business members Lifestyle Sports, Dublin City Council, UCC, University of Limerick, Paddy O’Reilly and Chris Steele, Eventease, Cara and 20X20, all of whom were involved yesterday.