Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Institute of Technology Tralee

First Advisor

Ms. Eileen Sayers

Second Advisor

Mr. Pat Flanagan


Every human has a fundamental right to physical education, physical activity and sport without discrimination. To achieve quality physical education, physical activity and sport, the associated support personnel, professionals and volunteers alike should be appropriately enabled through suitable training. For people with disabilities, aquatic activities are a recognised method of developing physical and motor skills, social skills and developing selfesteem (Getz, Hutzler and Vermeer, 2006). Hence, aquatics being the most popular physical activity for people with a disability (Irish Sports Monitor, 2015).

A key factor that determines the success of an inclusive aquatic programme is the aquatic instmctor (Conaster et al. 2000). Insufficient training, a lack of experience and poor levels of instruction are the major baniers to successful inclusive aquatic programmes (Moran & Block, 2010). Conaster et al. (2002) found a direct correlation between an aquatic instructor's intentions and their behaviour towards inclusion. This being, if an instructor intends to teach an inclusive aquatic class then it is very likely that they will actually teach an inclusive aquatics class.

Through a mixed methods approach using questionnaires, interviews and focus groups, the study evaluates the attitudes, beliefs and competence of aquatic teachers towards including people with disabilities in aquatics. Action research infonned the design of the theory and practical elements of the course which are infused tluoughout the mainstream full aquatics teacher’s course. The infused training was evaluated using mixed methods for its ability to enhance the attitudes and competence of aquatic tutors and teachers in relation to inclusion.

The aquatic teachers were divided into three groups, a college group, a community group and a control group for the infused training. On completion of the intervention, the college (p

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