As part of the activities, WIT tourism students set out several board games sponsored by Cartamundi; children chose which they wanted to play
As part of the event and conference management module BA Tourism Marketing students at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) demonstrated the instructional value of board games and sport at a Play Games Day event.
Primary school students from 6th class at St. Declan’s primary school in Waterford and first year students from Mount Sion CBS attended and participated at the event on 2 December 2019.
“The aim of this event was to encourage young people to spend less time on their phones and screens and to promote fun games and activities so they spend more time interacting with each other,” stated Jacinta Greene Beatty, lecturer, WIT.
As part of the activities, WIT tourism students set out several board games sponsored by Cartamundi and invited the children to choose which games they wanted to play.
Real life event experience
Orla O’Neill a student on the BA in Tourism Marketing course said, “We all benefitted from organizing this event as it was an opportunity to plan and execute a real life event and experience first-hand time management and focus on attention to detail. Our social skills were central to the success of the event. “The Tourism business is all about personal encounters and helping guests to feel welcome. It is critical for us students to feel comfortable ourselves with face-to-face interactions. That’s what the guest is going to remember. They aren’t necessarily going to remember a text or a ‘Facebook comment,” she said.
Edward Hayden a WIT Culinary Arts lecturer dropped into the Play Games Day event and spoke to the children about the importance of good fuel for our bodies. Edward shared good healthy choices and the importance of colour in the diet and water.
Brian O’Neill from Waterford Sports Partnership enthusiastically collaborated with the Play Games Day event, together with his colleague Lauren Walsh Kett who both delivered various sports activities together with the BA students, where children engaged in various sports skills and had great fun. Brian and Lauren are both former graduates of the WIT Health Promotion degree and said it’s important that every child gets an opportunity to do sports not just those who have a flair for sport. Brian stressed that sport should be ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’. Programmes delivered to schools by Waterford Sports Partnership include Startbox, Zumba Dance, Girls Schools Soccer, Yoga, Boxing Fitness, Greenway cycle and Schools activity Weeks. Lauren said 2020 there will be a huge effort to get 20% more females involved in sport in Ireland.
School feedback positive
Dominic Connolly a teacher from Mount Sion said he observed students bonded with each other, enjoyed the interactions and moved beyond the use of electronic devices to communicate. He also said there are two types of children “those who play too much sports and those who play none”. Adding her voice to the mix, Siobhan from St Declan’s noted that moving back to face-to-face interactions, like board games, helps students express their creativity, which she said has diminished with the use of electronic devices.
“[With the electronic use, students] can’t seem to use their imagination and make up their own games. Also, with some of their writing in class, they’re always writing about a character from a game such as Fortnitet and never their own,” said Shauna from Mount Sion.
The event was sponsored by Cartamundi, an educational board game company in Waterford. Cartamundi and WIT donated board games for students to take home.
The Play Games Day was launched on 25 November 2019 at WIT by the Vice President of Cartamundi Waterford Barry Morrissey, Clare Ludden, Cartamundi, Brian O’Neill Waterford Sports Partnership, Olivia Freyne Tourism Consultant, John Grubb of Every Event, Dominic Connolly teacher at Mount Sion with students Exauce Mongali and Josh Flynn, Dr Mary Fenton WIT, Dr Suzanne Denieffe, Head of School of Humanities, WIT and the BA in Tourism Marketing Students at WIT.
Speaking at the event Morrissey said there is a significant trend back to board games and family time.