Cobh crew claim an­other win at PE Xpo

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - RESULTS / ROUND-UP - JOHN GREENE

IT is an im­pres­sive achieve­ment — as well as a mark of its com­mit­ment to Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion as a sub­ject — that Coláiste Muire, Cobh won the PE Xpo for two years run­ning. A team of fifth year stu­dents from the school ex­am­ined the in­take of pro­tein by teenagers, and their knowl­edge around it, for their pro­ject, en­ti­tled ‘Pro-Teens’. They were awarded the over­all prize at this year’s event in DCU re­cently.

“We looked at whether they got their pro­tein through a bal­anced diet or through pro­tein shakes and then set up a web­site based on our find­ings,” said one of the stu­dents, Holly Mor­gan.

And it seems that their IT skills — which the group largely ac­quired in Tran­si­tion Year and which ap­pears to be an­other of the school’s spe­cial­i­ties given its suc­cesses in events like the eir Ju­nior Spi­der awards —played a sig­nif­i­cant part in con­vinc­ing the judges that ‘Pro-Teens’ was this year’s out­stand­ing en­try in the face of very stiff com­pe­ti­tion.

Mor­gan was joined on the Coláiste Muire team by Cian Lynch, Diar­muid Kear­ney, Lau­ren Breen, Max Bell and Stew­art Lynch and, ac­cord­ing to Amy Mo­ri­arty, a PE teacher in the school, the team brought the the­ory from their pro­ject and merged it with their IT skills to great ef­fect. The pro­ject was the cul­mi­na­tion of months of work by the stu­dents and over­seen by their teach­ers, Mo­ri­arty and Veron­ica Caplis.

“We were also in­ter­ested in the prob­lems that eat­ing too much pro­tein can cause,” added Holly Mor­gan.

The group are all ac­tive teens who spend a lot of time in the gym or on the pitch so they de­cided from the start that they were the best sub­jects to ex­per­i­ment on when try­ing to fig­ure out the im­por­tance of pro­tein in their diet.

So, they con­ducted a week-long study with two stick­ing to a low-pro­tein diet, and three on a pro­tein-filled diet, book­end­ing the week with a 1km run.

There were three el­e­ments to their pro­ject, the re­search, build­ing a web­site and cre­at­ing re­sources. One such re­source was a pre­sen­ta­tion which the group de­liv­ered to their peers, forc­ing them to re­think their ideas on di­etary sup­ple­ments and re-ed­u­cat­ing them in the process. Ac­cord­ing to Mo­ri­arty, the stu­dents’ next step is to de­velop their pro­ject fur­ther ahead of a trip to Univer­sity of Lim­er­ick in May when they will present their up­dated find­ings to staff in the PE and Sports Sci­ence de­part­ment.

The PE Xpo was set up by a group of PE teach­ers to show­case the value of the sub­ject and to give sec­ondary school stu­dents an op­por­tu­nity to demon­strate their knowl­edge of sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, on a prac­ti­cal level and also at a the­o­ret­i­cal level, in a way sim­i­lar to how the Young Sci­en­tists Ex­hi­bi­tion does just that for sci­ence.

PE is now part of the Leav­ing Cert syl­labus as an ex­am­inable sub­ject, be­gin­ning with a num­ber of pi­lot schools next Septem­ber, be­fore be­ing fully rolled out in 2020.

Photo: Daragh McSweeney

Coláiste Muire, Cobh stu­dents Holly Mor­gan, Cian Lynch, Stew­art Lynch, Lau­ren Breen, Diar­muid Kear­ney and Max Bell, win­ners of this year’s PE Xpo.

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