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Case Study Made2Move Programme

Made2Move Programme at UCC - a showcase of values in motion.

Name:                         Gillian O’Sullivan

Contact:                     086 1072528


Programme:               Made2Move



Made2Move is a research informed physical activity intervention designed to provide trained mentor support to physically inactive UCC students by encouraging them to increase their engagement in physical activity. The programme resides within the structure of a

Made2Move Club – the first of its kind on any university campus.

Made2Move was developed using the Chambers (2015) four-stage model of design thinking. It is informed by Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000). It focused on supporting MoveMentees (UCC students) to increase their engagement in physical activity through the support of trained MoveMentors (UCC students). MoveMentors volunteered to be involved and used a needs-supportive and motivational teaching techniques during their delivery of the intervention.

Data from pilot programmes in 2018 were collated and reviewed to inform a revised and improved Made2Move 3.0. which commenced in January 2019. Central to the success of Made2Move 3.0 are the following key factors: the provision of low cost, accessible, tailored to the individual and supportive physical activity opportunities, which are encapsulated in the Made2Move SERVICE Model (Chambers &Brennan, 2019). Made2Move 3.0. includes the following unique features;

  • Recruitment of a physically active student volunteering to be a MoveMentor;
  • Significance of a connection/relationship between the MoveMentor and the MoveMentee (i.e. social distance);
  • Recording and monitoring the walking steps achieved by the MoveMentee on a weekly basis;
  • Motivational talks for both the MoveMentors and the MoveMentees.
  • The addition of a charity focus for the final event – Made2Move4Charity.


In what context does this practice take place?

The Made2Move programme is a peer mentoring programme with the aim of improving the health and wellness of physically inactive students at UCC. The MoveMentor volunteers to be socially responsible and experiences how compassionate and empathetic behaviour with a fellow student can help their MoveMentee to make behavioural changes that benefits their health and wellbeing. 

By engaging with the help of the MoveMentor, the MoveMentees can experience positive changes to their health and wellbeing such as increased energy and feeling better both physically and mentally. The mentoring approach helps the MoveMentee develop physical activity habits and ways of overcoming obstacles so that it can be incorporated in their lives on a long term basis.


What was the rationale for introducing this project?

Regular physical activity i.e. 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per-week, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per-week (WHO, 2010) is beneficial for health and wellbeing (Biddle, Mutrie, & Gorely, 2015). This threshold is not being reached by 25% of university students (de Almedia et al., 2007). Moreover, many university students drop out from organised sports and physical activities, and are unlikely to undertake new active pursuits later in life (Telema et al., 2008). University students encounter specific obstacles to being physically active which include increased workload, time management, feelings of intimidation whilst at the university gym and need for support (Kwan & Faulkner, 2011).

The purpose of this study was to determine whether an evidenced-based physical activity programme based on Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) might increase physical activity levels among university students in one university in Ireland.



The Made2Move co- founders and directors designed the Made2Move programme and the research framework. They have designed the Made2Move programme in the following way:


UCC Made2Move Club

The Made2Move programme is housed within the Made2Move club which embeds the programme in the university. The UCC Made2Move club is the only sports club focused on physical activity in any university in Ireland (and globally).

The Made2Move club includes the club officer roles (Captain, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relations Officer)

The committee members;

  • Oversee the general running of the club
  • Help organise club events
  • Provide support and guidance to the MoveMentors and MoveMentees



  • Completes Made2Move Training
  • Recruits a physically inactive student from their social circle to be his/her MoveMentee
  • Joins Made2Move club and designs a physical activity plan to increase the daily steps of the MoveMentee
  • Receives a UCC Works award and MoveMentor digital badge at the end of the programme



  • Physically inactive student who wants to make a change
  • Joins the Made2Move club
  • Completes a PAR-Q and consent form
  • Co creates the physical activity plan with their MoveMentor and monitors their step count for the duration of the programme
  • Receives a MoveMentee digtal badge at the end of the programme


Made2Move Coordinator

  • Reports to the co- founders and the director of the DSPA at UCC
  • Oversees all aspects of the Made2Move programme
  • Trains the MoveMentors
  • Liaises with the MoveMentors and MoveMentees


Are there any unique elements?

Made2Move is a unique physical activity intervention in the following ways:

  • The disposition of the MoveMentor is a key component of the programme. The MoveMentor must be compassionate, caring and empathetic and also want to motivate and mentor the MoveMentee to make the change to being more active.
  • The MoveMentor must be socially familiar with their MoveMentee and recruit from their social circle of family, friends, classmate or housemates. The social distance between the MoveMentor and MoveMentee is minimal. The relationship is based on trust between them thus enabling greater success with the programme. 
  • The MoveMentors are trained in a specific motivational and mentoring style based on the Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000). With this approach, the MoveMentor uses positive language, sets realistic goals and co-creates a physical activity plan with their MoveMentee. All of these factors enable the MoveMentee to make physical activity part of their daily lives.


How has this initiative/project/practice helped the development of 'graduate attributes and values' in your students?

The MoveMentor will demonstrate the four core values of respect, compassion, resilience and integrity.

The MoveMentor respects the MoveMentee throughout the programme by including their physical activity choices as part of their physical activity plan. The main value displayed by the MoveMentor is compassion as they care for the MoveMentee throughout by encouraging them to be active but also supportive when the MoveMentee faces obstacles or is not managing the programme. The MoveMentor has to be resilient as the task of helping the MoveMentee to become more active is not straightforward and they often have to think of ways to get the MoveMentee back on track and not sway from the physical activity plan. The MoveMentor has to take all aspects of the MoveMentees life into account and adjust the physical activity plan accordingly.  Finally, the MoveMentor’s role is based on integrity as the MoveMentee trusts the MoveMentor to help and support them, create an individual physical activity plan and is available to them right throughout the programme.


What suggestions would you give to others considering introducing a similar initiative/practice in their own department/institution?

Made2Move can be included as part of a module and be adapted to suit the needs of the following courses; nursing, medicine, social science, psychology, pharmacy and public health. Made2Move’s core message is that people can be helped to make behavioural changes and make physical activity a regular part of their lives thus benefitting their health and wellbeing. Many of the health and social science courses will come across this issue in their profession and could benefit from having the skills and knowledge to help their patient and clients become healthier and more active.


Key features/strengths of the approach described in this case study

The strength of the Made2Move programme is demonstrated in the attached case study. The MoveMentor helps her fellow student to return to physical activity after nearly two years of being relatively physically inactive. The MoveMentee played sport in secondary school but during the transition to university found herself becoming very inactive as she moved away from participation in team sports.

The MoveMentor displayed leadership, compassion and empathy and understanding with her MoveMentee as she navigated returning to a physical activity plan. The MoveMentor co created a plan with her MoveMentee and developed a caring and considerate relationship. The Made2Move mentoring programming taught the MoveMentor how to take charge of challenging situations and lead the MoveMentor in the best possible direction. This is exemplified when the MoveMentor created a sensible and achievable physical activity plan for her MoveMentee. The MoveMentor was experienced to know that a gradual increase in physical activity would lead to the development of the MoveMentee’s confidence and ensure a better chance of long term behavioural change. Compassion and empathy are demonstrated when the MoveMentor understands that achieving good results in her exams are important to the MoveMentee and alters the physical activity plan around this time. It helps prove to the MoveMentee that being active can be beneficial during stressful periods and it can be maintained rather than completely stopped.

A welcome addition was the social aspect of the programme. Both the MoveMentor and the MoveMentee liked meeting to catch up with each other during a busy college schedule and found that the exercise could become fun and less of a chore as a result.

Overall, the strength of the programme is revealed by the benefits to the MoveMentee’s health and wellness and the development of mentoring skills for the MoveMentor which can be applied to her future profession.


Student Case Study

Paula is a second year Law and French student and is twenty years old. Paula was very physically active whilst at secondary school and played camogie and football for Cork at an underage level. She became less active whilst studying for her leaving cert exam and did not return to camogie or any organised physical activity when making the transition to UCC. Prior to being involved in the Made2Move programme, Paula’s last participation in organised sport was fifth year in secondary school.

The aim of the Made2Move programme was for Karen to motivate and support Paula to reach one hundred and fifty minutes of physical activity per week and in doing so reach the recommended ten thousand steps per day. Paula recorded her daily steps which Karen recorded and monitored.


MoveMentor and MoveMentee interaction

 Karen and Paula were friends and Karen suggested to Paula to volunteer for the programme. Karen felt that Paula would be a suitable candidate for Made2Move as Paula “missed regular participation in physical activity and sport and all the perks that came with it.” Paula felt that having a friend to help her get back on track with her physical activity would give her the “push she required to get back involved being active.”

At the beginning of the programme, Karen and Paula co-created a physical activity plan with goals that Paula would like to achieve. Karen’s knowledge and experience as a sports studies student and the Made2Move training enabled her to help Paula set realistic and achievable goals. Paula wanted to “become fitter, regain confidence and reduce college stress.” Paula admitted that she did not know where to start with her physical activity as she had not been active for some time. She was “nervous about her fitness and found entering the Mardyke gym on her own intimidating and was scared to go on her own. ” Karen helped Paula set targets that worked with and around her busy college schedule. Karen’s plan was to increase Paula’s fitness and she could then increase her physical activity. Paula was keen to return to camogie, even at a beginner level. Paula’s physical activity plan included camogie, walking and attending classes at the Mardyke gym which Karen also attended.

Paula enjoyed the programme progression and the social interaction with her friend which “gave them a chance to spend time together and have fun.” In addition, arranging to meet Karen and go to a class together was extremely motivational and reduced the chances of her avoiding the class and “feeling lazy.” In turn, Karen felt that it was much easier to motivate Karen once she developed a physical activity routine.

 As exams loomed, Paula’s behaviour of returning to being inactive and her “physical activity was given a back seat.” However, Karen was able to intervene and “altered her original plan and created a new one which was successfully shaped around her study.” This intervention helped Paula recognise that physical activity can be “fitted in around the busiest time when study and exams loom large.”

Paula felt the physical and mental health benefits to her wellbeing. Paula noticed positive changes in joint flexibility, muscular strength and endurance along with improved sleep and successful dealt with stress. Paula finished the semester with a positive mind set around physical activity and learned that it can be made part of her weekly routine.

Karen’s experience as a MoveMentor was very positive and fulfilling. She learned that motivating Paula increased her own personal resilience around physical activity. There were times that she did not feel like being active herself but because she had an arrangement to meet Paula for a class, she overcame this feeling and engaged in physical activity with her friend. Karen also admitted that it was not always an easy task to motivate someone constantly but remained dedicated to Paula and the programme. Karen felt the programme contributed greatly to her college course as she “gained confidence by helping an individual” and experienced how an individual can reap “great benefits when they achieve their goals.”



Karen and Paula both benefited by their involvement in the Made2Move programme. Paula felt the benefits of being more active which contributed to her health and wellbeing. She gained confidence in her physical activity levels and learned that physical activity can be altered when college exams need priority.

Karen was compassionate in her dealings with Paula and understood that Paula was keen to succeed academically but encouraged her to maintain her physical activity routine. She exhibited resilience when overcoming her own motivational challenges and helping Paula to overcome her challenges with her college course. Finally, Karen increased her digital fluency as she navigated a new step counter app Accupedo in which she recorded Paula’s steps and emailed a CSV file to the Made2Move Coordinator.

Graduate Attributes Programme

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