THE arrival of the Olympic torch to Ireland and the fact the London Olympic Games are literally next door should inspire school children to enjoy sport in their daily life and help inspire a new generation of elite athletes, former Irish Olympian, Sonia O’Sullivan, has said.
While everyone can not be an Olympic Champion, Sonia O’Sullivan appealed to everyone to take part and enjoy the healthy lifestyle that is promoted through sport. “The more children who take part and enjoy sport the more likely Ireland is to breed a new generation of sporting greats,” the legendary Cork athlete said on a visit to her native City.
The Olympic great was in Cork for a pre-Olympic conference and to mark the launch in the city of a new classroom resource to help educate children about the Olympics titled ‘The 2012 Irish Olympic Team in London ’.
The resource pack, produced by Wexford educational resource company, Prim-Ed Publishing, consists of a book, accompanying interactive CDs and decorative packs to involve students in the magic of the Olympics, in primary schools. It can also be purchased by parents and used at home.
Ms. O’Sullivan, a proud mother of two, revealed that she plans to use the resource to help educate her two daughters Ciara and Sophie, about the Olympics.
“I think the Prim-Ed Olympic books and CDs will generate a lot of knowledge for young children to help them understand many aspects of the sports in the Olympic Games this summer and encourage young athletes to ‘dream big’ and believe in themselves. I think these books will help teachers and parents to encourage children to take part and be more active in sport now and in the future,” O’Sullivan said.
“I am really excited about this publication. It is a mountain of easily understood Olympic facts and details that will help children enjoy the Olympic Games more and help them to relate to athletes of various sports competing for Ireland this summer. I can’t wait to share these books and CDs with my own children when we are in Ireland and London this summer,” she added.
It is really important for the athletes to know that they have the support of public behind them, she added. “It is always beneficial to know in the back of your mind that people care about what you are doing and it encourages athletes to work harder to get rewards that they can share with their family, friends and Irish supporters.
“Sport whether competitive or social is the single most important activity combined with a good diet that generates good health and fitness in children and leads them to a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives.
“I never thought as a pupil that I’d be appearing in books like this Prim-Ed publication and I am only too happy to support and encourage school children to give sports a go and be inspired by Irish Olympic athletes like myself and especially those competing in London this summer. “
Prim-Ed is already well established as a leading Irish educational book publisher and teacher resource provider. The ‘2012 Irish Olympic Team in London’ project is an exciting new venture with the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) for the Wexford-based company which is now the exclusive, official educational publisher in Ireland of the complete teacher resources for the London games.
The pack for schools is tailored to pupils aged 5-8, 8-10 and 11 plus and comprises of a series of three books with accompanying interactive CDs and decorative packs which include a poster, door hanger, stickers and banners. There are also eBooks available also for projection onto interactive boards. While it is designed for use in the classroom, the publishers say it is also likely to be a huge hit with sports-mad children to use at home.
Prim-Ed MD, Seamus McGuinness, said children learn best when stimulated by material relevant to their world and interests and is confident the Olympics resource will be a huge hit in primary schools right around the country.
“The copymasters and eBooks, which can be used on interactive whiteboards, include teacher’s notes, curriculum links and lesson plans. They will feature up-to-date information on our Irish athletes and also past heroes. We’re thrilled with the resource and having an elite athlete such as Sonia O’Sullivan giving it a glowing review, we hope pupils nation-wide will use this programme and really get behind our athletes as they so truly deserve it.
“This OCI partnership will help teachers harness the Olympic spirit in our classrooms and bring the spirit of the games to life, while at the same time improving literacy, numeracy, geographical knowledge, dietary and nutrition plans in a fun, exciting and new way.”