The rise of Gaelic games in the US just can’t be stopped with the announcement that Wyoming will be rolling out a new program for its PE teachers that includes the sports.
Starting this fall, the PE Teacher Training Program at the Division of Kinesiology and Health at teh University of Wyoming will require its candidates to teach three-week units of Gaelic football in high schools and middle schools statewide.
“Myself and my department head, Dr. Mark Byra had been to a Gaelic football match in Croke Park several years ago and we immediately spotted the PE potential of the sport,” Tristan Wallhead, head of Wyoming’s PE Teacher Training Program.
“We were unsure whether it was practical for US school programs but when Cascade Youth Gaelic Games contacted us and showed us how Seattle area schools were doing it we decided to replicate their program.”
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Cascade Youth Gaelic Games is a USGAA Seattle-based high school Gaelic-games-in-PE-Class program who will partner with the University of Wyoming to develop the program. Tracy Schellberg and Terence Lynch of Cascade will be traveling to Wyoming in August to help launch the University’s program after several years of work in Seattle high schools, at the forefront of establishing Gaelic football as a PE sport nationally.
“This sport is perfect for High School PE. It has got everything a teacher wants their student to get out of PE, wrapped up in one sport,” said Schellberg, PE department head at Skyline HS in Seattle, who has been using Gaelic football in her own PE classes since 2009.
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“It has been great to be involved in getting the word out to other teachers. I am looking forward to going to Wyoming next semester to help them roll out this program.”
“We adapted USGAA’s Coach Education program to train PE teachers for Gaelic football”, added Lynch.
“It has been very successful because teachers immediately spot the PE benefits of the sport, and once they see how easy, versatile and popular Gaelic football is with their students they run with it. Working alongside these professional educators has been a great asset.”