University of Limerick
Cregan_2020_Aghaidh.pdf (28.91 MB)

Ar Aghaidh Le Chéile (AALC) fitness & fun: the development of a community based intervention programme designed to improve the FMS levels of children aged 7-12 year

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posted on 2022-09-09, 08:33 authored by Eimear Cregan
Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) are said to be the building blocks of participation in many physical activities (Gallahue and Ozmun, 2006) and these movements form the foundation for future movement (Seefeld, 1980). Low proficiency levels are said to reduce the likelihood of sustained participation in sport/games into early adulthood. Irish children are currently insufficiently active (Woods et al., 2010, 2018) and current FMS mastery levels are low (Bolger et al., 2018a, 2018b; Kelly et al., 2018). The purpose of this study was the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a community based FMS intervention (AALC programme) in West Limerick with 7-12 year old boys and girls. The implementation of appropriate FMS programmes have the potential to enhance children’s proficiency levels as well as increase participation and may, indirectly be the key to improving the health of future generations. A community based intervention programme (AALC) was conducted over an 11week period (n = 91; 49 girls and 42 boys). Participants were pretested a week before commencement of the programme and attended 1 session a week for the following 11 weeks. Information was gathered at 3 time-points (pre – week 0, post – week 12, retention – 5 months after posttest). Each practice session was 75 minutes in length. 15 minutes was spent at each station (run, catch, throw, jump) in a circuit style format with 4 stations utilized. The total time spent on skills over 11 weeks was 600 minutes. FMS proficiency levels were assessed using the TGMD-2 (Ulrich, 2000) with all participants videorecorded. PA levels were examined using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) and anthropometric measurements of height and mass were used to determine BMI levels. The retention test was conducted following a 5-month period of no instruction. Results revealed FMS baseline levels were well below that of US Norms (TGMD2) at all 3-time points (pre, post and retention). A repeated Measures ANOVA revealed significant improvements with large effect sizes (≥ 0.14), in the GMQ score (F (2,178) = 155.112, p ≤= 0.001 p = 0.000, 𝜂p2 = 0.635, Locomotor Raw Score (F (1.644, 146.281) = 161.319, p ≤= 0.001, 𝜂2 = 0.664) and Object Control Raw Score (F (2,178) = 51.503, p = 0.000, 𝜂p2 = 0.367) following the 11-week intervention for the entire group. No significant differences were observed from post to retention for object control skills suggesting pre-post improvements were retained following a 5-month period of no instruction. Significant sex differences were found for the two main effects of gender and time for object control only (F (2,178) = 5.577, p = 0.004 (p < 0.05), 𝜂p2 = 0.059) (small effect size ≥ 0.01) with boys outperforming girls in all 3 time points. Girls demonstrated greater gains in the object control skill subtest following the intervention. Greater improvements were observed for locomotor skills when compared to object control in all 3 groupings. Findings reveal that a community based intervention can bring about significant gains in FMS in a short period (11-weeks) in both boys and girls and these gains can be retained following a 5-month period of no instruction. Age appropriate FMS interventions are required to bring about improvements in proficiency levels and gender separate sessions are recommended to provide an optimal environment for FMS enhancement.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Campbell, Mark J.

Second supervisor

Comyns, Thomas M.





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