Kevin Gavin

Kevin completed his undergraduate degree, B.Sc. Athletic and Rehabilitation Therapy in TUS. Across all modules, Kevin developed an appreciation and passion for research, and he became determined to make a personal contribution to research literature. Kevin recognised that TUS supported his personal and professional development, and was successful in continuing his career at the institution as a PhD candidate. His research resides in the SHE Research Group, which generates a coherent and consistent culture around research.


The Contribution of Gaelic Football Participation to Overall Physical Activity in Irish Youth

Project About

This PhD project had two primary aims across two distinct phases. Phase one aimed to determine the contribution of Gaelic football participation to adolescents’ overall daily physical activity (PA) levels. Informed by phase one, phase two explored the coaching pedagogy being applied by youth Gaelic football coaches and examined the effects of a Game Based Approach (GBA) coaching intervention in a youth Gaelic football setting.

Practical Impact of Project

There are over 100,000 coaches in Gaelic Games, supported by a coach development system that provides education opportunities for beginner to high performance coaches. The research carried out in this PhD project demonstrated that GBAs provide significantly more PA to players than traditional coaching approaches. Therefore, the findings of this research support the development of a GBA Coach Education Programme which would positively impact both player and coach development.

Major finding of project

The results from Phase 1 revealed that participation in Gaelic football provides an ideal opportunity for adolescents to accumulate PA. However, the amount of PA attained was insufficient to achieve the minimum daily guidelines for the majority of adolescents. Phase 2 determined that a GBA holds considerable potential to positively enhance the contribution of participation in youth Gaelic football to participants’ daily PA levels.


Gavin, K.W., Lane, A. and Dowd, K.P., 2020. The Contribution of Gaelic Football Participation to Youth Physical Activity Levels. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 19(4), p.652, PMID: 33239938. Gavin, K.W., Lane, A. and Dowd, K.P., 2021. Seasonal changes in the physical activity levels of youth Gaelic football players. Journal of Sports Sciences, pp.1-7.


Dr. Kieran Dowd Dr. Aoife Lane