One in four primary school children lack movement skills

20 March 2020

A quarter of primary school children in Ireland cannot run properly and lack basic movement skills, according to a new study of more than 2000 five- to 12-year-olds.

Researchers from Dublin City University (DCU) also found that half the children couldn’t kick a ball properly, and fewer than one in five could throw a ball.

The all-Ireland study, published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, also found that ‘fundamental movement skills’ – running, jumping, catching and kicking – plateau when children reach the age of 10.

Mastery of these basic skills is achievable by age eight, but the study shows that a large proportion of Irish children have not mastered them by age 10 – a stage when children could become self-conscious about it and ‘in turn are likely to disengage’.

Dr Sarahjane Belton at DCU said: ‘We need to focus our attention nationally on developing physical literacy capacities and capabilities in our children and young people.’

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