Merlin Woods Sports Club

Founded 2014

Co. Galway


SHE photos link


Great Outcomes for Girls



The SHE programme helps girls, 4-12 years, who do not engage in regular, structured physical activity. All shapes and sizes are welcome and made feel comfortable in this non-threatening environment.

 In the first instance, SHE helps the girls to be comfortable in the space that they are in. Then they are guided by the coaches in basic movement, i.e. walking, running, throwing, crawling, jumping etc. Steadily they are introduced to various team sports such as football, basketball, athletics and others, so that they can understand the basic rules of the games.

At all sessions there are the basic elements of warming up, fun drills, structured games and warming down. Each girl’s data will be collated by the staff and uploaded to our website, allowing parents/guardians to log in frequently so that they can see their child’s progress. It is expected that as incremental improvement is achieved with each girl, a positive correlation can be seen with their educational performance, concentration levels, sleeping patterns etc.

The sessions are held as much as possible in the outdoors, and street games such as skipping, hula-hoops, hopscotch, ball games are taught to increase play in their locality on street. This will improve the social aspect of their play. The girls are challenged with ‘homework’ in this regard, to see if they can improve their performance at these games. Deliberate practice is encouraged, so that they are constantly challenged to improve their abilities.

The deliberate practice helps the girls to build resilience and develop a Growth Mindset and Grit. If they meet a bottleneck in their progression, they are less likely to be discouraged and have the confidence to persist, because they understand that persistence pays off in the end. This gives them the confidence to engage in formal sporting activities.


The innovation in this programme is that it addresses the needs of the 99% of girls who don’t take part in regular, structured sports activity rather than 1% elite who have no difficulties in participation. It is specifically for girls because, in our experience, many girls are intimidated by the ferocity and harshness with which elite sports training is delivered and are discouraged if they cannot maintain the level of progress required in traditional situations. Our experience so far shows that parents see an increase in their girls’ contentment, better concentration ability, more willingness to play outdoors, more resilience in all types of activities, better sleep patterns and increased willingness to eat healthier foods.

Contact Cathy 0851974777 to book your childs place NOW : Course Director: Mr Don O Riordan UEFA Pro Licenced coach.

Delivered with our  partners Merlin Woods primary school, GMIT sports science school and the ARD family resource centre Doughiska.

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