I attended the PEAI Conference in October 2017 in which I attended three talks given with regard to “Developing Teenage Movement and Strength” given by Shane Fitzgibbon. The reason why I was interested in the talk was that I recognised that Shane was at the forefront of Kids/Teenage fitness in Ireland and I wished to learn from him.

The talks themselves were very practical and delegate led. By that I mean, Shane obviously had stuff that he wanted to communicate to the teachers. At the same time, he made it clear that he was happy to focus on anything that the they felt was important to take back to their schools.

Shane gave regressions and progressions for all the exercises that he demonstrated, thereby allowing teachers to cater for all levels of fitness in their pupils. He made sure that they all got to do the exercises after he had demonstrated them. This allowed attendees to get a “feel” for the exercises, but, more importantly allowed Shane to correct anyone that needed correcting. To me, this was very important, as having confidence in doing the exercise allows you the confidence to teach it.
Shane is conscious that kids, for most of the day, are sitting and we need to include exercises that try and combat this by stretching what needs to be stretched and strengthen what needs to be strengthened i.e. the posterior chain. Shane asked for any questions at the end and was more than happy to deal with questions on a one-to-one basis as required.

Throughout the talk, the information was communicated in a clear, easy to understand way with plenty of humour, which allowed for focused participants. To me, without doubt, teachers went away feeling empowered, allowing them to bring what they learnt to their pupils through their PE classes.