Written by Julia Wathen
On 4th March, at Tsadiku Primary School in Gonder, 14 Physical Education teachers from 9 local schools gathered for a Sports Leadership Workshop organised by Link Ethiopia. The one – day workshop was delivered by Link Ethiopia Volunteer, Mike McCarthy and Eyayaw Bayable, from the Link Ethiopia Gondar Office. It was the second part of his sports workshops efforts – the first was in Bishoftu.
The workshop was a mixture of theory and practical input designed to support the teachers with some ideas and methods regarding the delivery of Physical Education in schools. The theoretical elements of the day included: methods of managing large groups, safety issues in Physical Education, the tools of communication in practical situations and the value and methods of adapting physical activities to suit different levels of student ability.
The workshop also contained plenty of practical activity including sessions on warming up, fitness training and a variety of minor games. The minor games element is something that the teachers found particularly interesting as they offer the teacher a useful addition to the practical programme, most of which can be set up easily and quickly and with a minimum of equipment required.
Some of the feedback from the teachers
The feedback received from the teacher’s was very positive with the only criticism being that many wished that the training had been for a second day as well! Some of the teacher comments received included:
“The workshop was excellent and very useful in supporting my teaching programme”
“I will make use of the circuit training methodology in my fitness lessons”
“The practical minor games were particularly useful, interesting and also fun to play”
“Our teachers have been surprised to learn about how much can be achieved with such little space required – this is very helpful in our situation” (School Director)
This initial workshop was followed up with the offer of support visits to teachers in their school to assist with implementing some of the workshop ideas and methods. 8 visits of this type were made to the schools involved, with Mike providing a variety of support ranging from lesson observation and feedback to providing two further ‘mini practical workshops’ for teachers at the Fasiledes Secondary School and the newly opened, St Georges School.
It is hoped that this support training provided to local teachers will assist them in further improving and broadening the Physical Education experience being delivered to students in local schools and to make more effective use of the very limited resources that many schools have at their disposal.
During his short stay Mike, (on behalf of Link Ethiopia), has also carried out a similar Sports Leadership Workshop for 18 local sports staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Office of the Gonder Sports Commission as well as delivering a presentation on ‘Volunteering in Sport’ and a practical minor games session to Second Year Sports Science students at the University of Gondar.