IT Tralee Pioneers European Inclusive PE Training Programme

European Inclusive PE Training Programme Groundbreaking project paving way for people with disability in mainstream physical education

The Institute of Technology, Tralee hosted the European Inclusive Physical Education Training (EIPET) Conference 2009 on Friday 23rd October at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin. 

The event represented the culmination of a two year EIPET project led by the Health and Leisure Department in the Institute of Technology Tralee, Co Kerry with support from the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation fund of the European Union.

The project set out to tackle difficulties that arise associated with the inclusion of people with disabilities into mainstream physical education and associated deficiencies in teacher training in this area.

The main aim was to adapt the model of inclusive PE teacher training in the Institute of Technology, Tralee to a number of partner countries and beyond through dissemination and valorisations into the wider PE teacher training environment.

As Pat Flanagan, founder of the Adapted Physical Activity programme at Institute of Technology , Tralee , explains ⿿Our programme is highly practical and develops student⿿s confidence and competence in working with people with a broad range of disabilities through a unique hands-on approach.⿝

Following input from European project partners and feedback from consultation conducted by all partners, the IT, Tralee model of teacher training has been refined to produce a module that can be utilised throughout Europe .

Details of the EIPET training module and accompanying resource pack were launched at the conference and aim to enable PE teacher training organisations to readily incorporate Inclusive PE training into their undergraduate programmes. 

The one day event provided delegates with all the details required to justify the inclusion of a module on Inclusive Physical Education in teacher training programmes or in-service delivery lists. In addition, guests will have the opportunity to question a panel of European experts on issues pertaining to the EIPET project and Adapted Physical Activity (APA) or Inclusive Physical Education (IPE) in general.  

The conference was opened by Sean Kelly MEP and Seamus O'Shea, Head of School, Science and Computing, Institute of Techology, Tralee. Guests were addressed by a distinguished panel of Irish and European experts including Pat Flanagan, Institute of Technology, Tralee; Professor Pilvikki Heikinaro-Johansson,University of Jyväskylä , Finland; Dr. Martin Kudlácek, Palacky University, Czech Republic; Martin Crick, SportsCoach UK; Professor Vilma Cingiene Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education and Mary Davis MD of Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia. A number of testimonials were also presented outlining the real life experiences that demonstrate the need for initiatives such as EIPET.