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The Difference skip-hop Has Made In My Life - Aidan Twomey

Posted on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 11:41AM by Aidan Twomey
 
skip-hop has changed me in many ways in the two years while I have worked with the company. When I started with skip-hop, I had very little work experience and was fresh out of college. I had no idea about how hard the working world could be! During the summer of 2008 I was working for a student promotion company as a representative, selling tickets to events. During the day I was working with children with complex needs and challenging behaviour, teaching structural play.

With skip-hop, teaching in schools has had a massive impact on my life. The rewards to be gained and the things you can learn from children is overwhelming. My life has transformed incredibly since I have been working with skip-hop but the most rewarding part of the work I do with schools. Seeing children, playgrounds and a lot of the time whole schools being transformed. I now get letters and phone calls months down the line telling us about the improvements to the schools behaviour, productivity and atmosphere. Also making children more health aware, improving athleticism and creativity which are just a few of the attributes skip-hop can bring to individuals or groups.

Through the last two years working with skip-hop, there have been many stories brought back to the office from all coaches including myself. Stories that are happy and sometimes inspirational. As we work with all different types of people, in all different types of areas we see a lot of different things. There have been a number of occasions where I have been stopped in my tracks whilst teaching by some remarkable achievement. This is particularly notable when children who do not excel at other sports find they do excel at skip-hop. Or the young lad that usualy hides at the back and does not participate is suddenly at the front getting stuck in! Many of these moments I don’t think I will ever forget.

I was teaching in a school in Ireland last year (Summer 2010) and there was a young lad in 5th class that had been blind at birth. Throughout his school life, there is probably always been a limit to what he can take part in or do. This was the same with skipping. The teacher (a 6 foot 4, rugby playing, male teacher) said to me before the session, that this lad could not take part due to his eyes and for the fact “he would not be able to do it”. This is against everything we believe in here at skip-hop. It is probably easier for me coming into the school fresh so I insisted this young lad be encouraged to have a go. The beautiful thing about skip-hop is it’s all about rhythm, there is no need to see the rope and as long as I did my job which was to keep him out of harm’s way by making sure no one was to close and he was in a safe location to skip then he would be fine. This lad then went on to demonstrate some of the skills he learnt in my session in front of the whole school in the assembly we do at the end of each day. It was very dramatic and the teacher was actually in tears at the end of the day. If I left that school and only achieved one thing that day, I hope it was to show, that skip-hop is most definitely good for everyone and is all inclusive no matter what size, age or disability a person has. But I know it definitely changed that schools outlook on disabilities and sport, but most probably changed that young outlook on sport and school too. This is something that will stay with me forever. There are many other stories that I could tell of a similar nature, because this is the impact skip-hop has on schools and the hundreds of people we cross paths with each week.
 skip-hop aidan twomey on the beach

Hi Lee,
WOW....Aidan was fantastic, every member of staff made a note of thanking me for arranging the event and how brilliant Aidan was. He was in huge demand at lunchtime with the children, even the Ofsted inspector thought he was great and mentioned him to me! A huge thank you and please pass on to Aidan how happy we all were. I did manage to speak to Aidan and mention that I am arranging an activity week for just year 5 and 6, and fingers crossed if dates and money all come together we would love to book him again, just to work with those two years?
I will be in touch as soon as possible  about it. Again a massive thank you, we would certainly recommend your company to other schools.
Yours - Jackie Allan - Sulivan Primary School

Hi Lee, I wanted to write to you before this to feedback the week to you as I know for us all it is about evaluation but it has been manic, I’m sure for you too!!

Aiden was (as expected from your company) an absolute star and I was so impressed with his enthusiasm and interaction with the schools and especially the children. This is a valuable skill to have and he probably had it a bit tougher as I am a coach is so many areas and stuck around, however he showed exactly what skill and dedication he had and was a complete asset to you,(especially in working with such a busy timetable). I and my schools were highly grateful and impressed and he had even turned around the opinions of some of the hardest children and teachers!!

The children absolutely loved it and the impact was massive. Higher enthusiasm within school, willingness to try more new things, better self esteem and confidence, and very importantly in my opinion, they are keeping active in playtime and after school by bringing in their skip-hop ropes! He covered about 1000 children and they all have continued with skip-hop into this week, and are all still talking about impressing Aidan when he next visits! As you know we hosted the teacher training morning in which we had 24 teachers and coaches and again they were so positive when they left and highly enthusiastic about incorporating more skip into playtimes, afterschool and curriculum!

It is highly unusual to have that many who have chosen to come to a training course so it was highly valued. I believe teacher training and getting the enthusiasm from the teachers to continue is where we need to develop as they have already started to see where the children value it and the impacts.Please pass on not only my gratitude and thanks to Aidan for a job well done, word of mouth goes a long way to promote things and your company have already got a fantastic name with us on the Isle of Wight.

Please also pass on my e-mail address so he can send me resources for all the teachers. Again thank you- another excellent week - Carol Ward - Carisbrooke Central Cluster Extended Services Officer

"We had a fantastic day on the 30th April. I filmed the floor show and photographed the skills, so we are working away on them. We could really see the difference in how the children approached their second workshop. They loved it and learned so much. A big thanks to Aidan for all his energy and motivation." - Maria O'Connor, Presentation Primary School, Tuam, Co Galway

"Dear sir, we’ve just had Aidan coach our kids on Monday last. Both himself and the content were brilliant. Aidan has a lovely way of encouraging and praising the kids. It has taken the school over with skipping fever. I can't thank or praise Aidan enough. Well done."  - Deasun Lyons, St Enda's N School, Co Sligo

"Everyone at Annyalla National School had a great day skipping with Aidan.  The kids are still skipping on the yard during play times.  Aidan had a fantastic way of engaging all the children and teachers during the day.  We hope to have you back in the future to our school and thanks to Aidan for showing us his skipping skills."  - Donagh Nugent, Principal, Annyalla National School, Co Moneghan

skip-hop's aidan twomey on the beach 2