Physical Literacy

Physical Literacy workshops help give people the confidence to be active

04 Jun 2024
Stephen Walsh

By Declan O’Leary 

Physical Literacy is at the forefront of the work that Sport Ireland does. It relates to an individual’s personal relationship with physical activity – how they think and feel about it and what they do. 

Physical literacy means having the skills, confidence, and motivation to be active for life.

To support people to consider their personal physical literacy Sport Ireland has developed a workshop / webinar and resources, titled Understanding Physical Literacy (UPL). 

The UPL workshop / webinar is being rolled out by Sport Ireland and its partners in Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) and National Governing Bodies (NGB).

UPL gives each person who attends the opportunity to ‘dig deeper’ into why they are active/inactive, understand their barriers and supports, examine what motivates them, and be on a path of being physically active that suits them. 

The benefits of being physically active are many and well-documented, but those who are inactive are unable to reap these benefits. 

However, by developing their physical literacy they can find ‘the switch’ that works for them, start to value physical activity in their lives, grow a love of being active and include it in their lives, every day. 

On May 11th, Sport Ireland delivered training to 17 trainee tutors. 

This included six people from each of four NGBs - Pitch & Putt Ireland; Community Games; The Camogie Association; and Irish Athletic Boxing Association. There were also 11 people from eight Local Sports Partnerships and local sports organisations.

The UPL training and support of the trainee tutors is coordinated and delivered by the Sport Ireland Coaching unit, specifically Sheelagh Quinn, Declan O’Leary, Ann McMahon, Vicky Guy and Michael Joyce. 

The UPL workshop, resources and tutor training delivery was led and supported by Dr Melaine McKee, Senior lecturer in PE and Sport at Stranmillis University College, Belfast. 

Upcoming training 

For information on upcoming UPL workshops or webinars, or if you would like to host an UPL workshops / webinar, please contact . The two-and-a-half-hour-long course is open to everyone and suitable for all age groups.

Further UPL Tutor Training is scheduled for Saturday November 16th 2024. For more information email The tutor training is most suitable to those in NGBs or LSPs or those with a role in physical education in the health or sports sector. Tutor training is a day-long event. 

Physical literacy 

For more information on physical literacy see Physical Literacy and the Sport Ireland Statement of Strategy 2023-2027 (pages 26-27). 

Declan O’Leary is Sport Ireland Coaching Development Manager