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National Seminar For Inclusion

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National Seminar For Inclusion

November 21, 2019

Event Sold Out

Theme: Children with Disabilities
Date: Thursday, November 21, 2019
Location: Castleknock Hotel, Dublin
Price: €70


About the Seminar

Cara in partnership with Sport Ireland is delighted to host the 2019 National Seminar for Inclusion. The theme for this year’s seminar will be on ‘Children with Disabilities’.

The National Seminar for Inclusion has been a place of great learning and sharing whilst highlighting and discussing areas of importance in sport and physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities in Ireland. We are always encouraged with the huge interest in the event each year.

This seminar is designed with the following audience in mind:

  • National Governing Bodies of Sport managers, development officers and coaches
  • Local Sports Partnership coordinators, sports inclusion disability officers (SIDO) and sports development officers (SDO)
  • Professionals across the health, education, outdoor, sport, fitness and leisure sectors.
  • Disability Services managers and staff
  • People with disabilities
  • Anyone with an interest in enhancing sport and physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities.

Seminar Schedule

9.00 Registration
9.45 Welcome Address
10.00 Key Note

Brendan O’Connor: “The power of participation…a parent’s perspective”

Chris Watts: “From a Participants perspective”

10.50 Break
11.15 Breakout 1

A. Sport

“Sport has the power to change a child’s world”

Presenter: Fiach Andrews (Badminton Ireland)
Facilitator: Mary O’Connor (Federation of Irish Sport)

B. Physical Education

“Building the blocks to lifelong activity”

Presenter: Dr Frances Murphy (St Patrick’s, DCU)
Facilitator: Dr Sarah Meegan (Dublin City University)

12.45 Lunch
1.45 Breakout 2

C. Recreation

“A family that plays together, stays together!”

Presenter: Matt Shields (parkrun Ireland)
Facilitator: Tomás Aylward (Institute of Technology, Tralee)

D. Engaging with children & Young People

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Facilitators: Kate Feeney (Cork LSP) and Caitriona Corr (Kilkenny LSP)

3.25 Facilitated Q & A
4.15 Close

Breakout Sessions

Click each link below to read more on each breakout session.


Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to announce that Media Personality and Journalist Brendan O’Connor & Para Triathlete and Swimming Teach Chris Watts, will both deliver keynote addresses at this year’s National Seminar for Inclusion

Brendan O'Connor


Matt Shields

Matt Shields

Matt is a civil engineer by profession who retired from that profession in 2010. To keep himself engaged he indulged in his lifelong hobby of running by volunteering at parkrun. This has grown maybe a little beyond his expectations and in 2012 he became Parkrun Ireland country manager, a position he has fulfilled to present day.

Frances Murphy

Frances Murphy

Frances is a primary teacher and teacher educator working in the Institute of Education, Dublin City University. She works as part of a team supporting the preparation of primary teachers to teach PE. Her research work includes work on including all children in physical education lessons.

Fiach Andrews

Fiach Andrews

Fiach has been working with Badminton Ireland since September 2015, having graduated from UCD with an MSc in Coaching & Exercise Science, and from the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown with a BA (Hons) in Sports Management & Coaching. He is the current Development & Membership Manager for the organisation, while he also performs High Performance Operational duties for current performance players and national squads.


Sarah Meegan

Sarah Meegan

Dr. Sarah Meegan joined the School of Health and Human Performance in 2005. Sarah received a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science from Liverpool John Moores University, an MSc in Adapted Physical Activity from the Katholieke University Leuven and a PhD in Inclusive Physical Education from the University of Limerick. Sarah has spent several years delivering physical education and physical activity programmes for people with disabilities.

Kate Feeney

Kate Feeney

Kate Feeney is the Sports Inclusion Disability Officer working with Cork Sports Partnership. Kate coordinates the Cork SportsAbility programme, facilitating physical activity and sport for people with a disability. Kate is a qualified PE teacher having graduated from the Institute of Technology Tralee with a BSc Hons. in Health and Leisure, and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from The University of Limerick. Kate is an active Disability Awareness and Inclusion Training tutor, and lectures in Adapted Physical Activity and Physical Education.

Caitriona Corr

Caitriona Corr

Caitriona Corr initially worked in Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership as a Sports Development Officer before moving into the role of Sports Inclusion Disability Officer in 2012. She is a member of the CARA Tutor team, and delivers Disability Inclusion and Disability Awareness Training. Caitriona had also led the Community Sports Hub and Urban Outdoor Initiatives in Kilkenny over the last 3 years. She holds a BSc Sport and Exercise Science from University of Limerick.

Tomás Aylward

Tomás Aylward

Tomás Aylward is a lecturer in Adapted Physical Activity & Outdoor Education(OE) at the ITTralee. Tomás has been involved in different roles educating teachers, leaders and instructors for the Outdoors over the past three decades. He has been pioneering work to include young people with disabilities in OE for more than 12 years. In 2018, Tomás was awarded a Dobbin Atlantic Scholarship by the Ireland Canada Universities Foundation in recognition of his work and to further research on Inclusive Outdoor Recreation on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mary O’Connor

Mary O’Connor

Mary O Connor is CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport. She is a native of Cork and has worked in sport all her professional life and is an avid sports fan.

In 2016 Mary graduated from University College Cork with a Masters in Voluntary and Community Sector Management. Before joining the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary worked with the Camogie Association as Director of Technical Development and Participation. She excelled in this role and led the association in to an unprecedented era of growth. Under her direction as Acting CEO of the Camogie Association in 2013, she successfully guided the association through change in the form of the new affiliation model for individual members, which saw camogie ensure a more equitable membership structure for all clubs.

Mary has represented her native Cork in both Camogie and Ladies football amassing a total of 12 Senior All Ireland medals over a 16-year dual intercounty career. She has won All Stars in both codes, national leagues and provincial titles and more recently was honoured with an Honorary Doctorate from University College Cork (2012) in recognition of her amazing contribution to sport in Ireland.


Guests wishing to book accommodation in the Castleknock Hotel will receive 10% off their best available rate online. Contact or phone +353 (0)1 640 6300

Visit Castleknock Hotel Website: HERE


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November 21, 2019
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