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Older people with intellectual disabilities get active at the PPALs Games in Trinity College Dublin.

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Over fifty older people with intellectual disabilities take part in a leisure games tournament which celebrates empowering people to be leaders and get active.

Older people with intellectual disabilities met today (Friday 30th November) in Trinity College Dublin to celebrate the culmination of a year-long physical activity leadership project, PPALs.

The PPALs project is about empowering people with intellectual disabilities to make their communities healthier by becoming Physical Activity Leaders. Participants developed the skills and confidence needed to lead weekly sports and activity sessions. This saw participants take charge of activity sessions for their friends, their peers and staff in order to get everyone more active.

The sports day involved a range of games between teams of people training by the PPALs. The leaders were presented with their Certificates of Completion by the Minister for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne, TD and Ireland Rugby fullback Rob Kearney.

PPALs is based on Age & Opportunity’s Go for Life model and is a joint project between Trinity College Dublin’s Centre for Ageing and Intellectual Disability (TCAID), Age & Opportunity and the University of Barcelona. Funded by the European Union’s EIT-Health programme, the project co-designed easy read training material with people with intellectual disabilities to ensure that training sessions and materials used were accessible, effective and useful, while still keeping the fun and spirit of the Go for Life model. 

Speaking at the Games, the Minister for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne, said:
“I’m delighted to celebrate the achievements of this fantastic group of our older citizens in completing the P-PALS programme and participating in the P-PALS games today. Under Healthy Ireland, we want to encourage and support everyone to be more active, particularly older people with intellectual disabilities, whose enthusiasm and energy here today is a lesson to us all.

Being physically inactive is one of the leading risk factors for health and under the National Physical Activity Plan we want to make exercise a normal part of everyday life, and give people of all ages more opportunities to be active in their communities.
Partnerships like this one between Trinity and Age & Opportunity are very important in reaching out to groups we might not otherwise get to connect with and support. Everyone deserves the chance to be active and improve their health and wellbeing, and today’s event is a testament to this”. 

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