PARTICIPATION Minister Mary Hanafin presents Active Schools Awards


Minister Hanafin presents Active School Awards 2006

Minister for Education and Science Mary Hanafin, T.D., last week presented the prizes at the Active School Awards 2006 national showcase at the Helix theatre, Dublin City University.  The Active School Awards scheme was initiated as part of the European Year for Education through Sport (EYES) in 2004.

The Department of Education and Science and the Irish Sports Council support the Active School Awards.  The scheme is administered at both primary and post-primary level by the Mayo Education Centre.

Each school taking part in the National showcase received a certificate and €1,000.  Overall winners in the primary and post-primary sector received €3,000. 

The main objectives of the awards are:
• to encourage young people to engage in more physical activity in a fun environment,
• to raise the profile of Physical Education and co-curricular physical activity,
• to help promote the Physical Education syllables at primary and post-primary level.

In all, over 3,300 primary and over 750 post-primary schools in the country were invited to participate in the awards which are supported by the Department of Education and Science and the Irish Sports Council.

Presenting the awards to winning schools, Minister Hanafin said "Participation in sport offers so many opportunities to people of all ages. Sport has opened doors that might otherwise have been closed.  At its best, sport builds character, teamwork, leadership and ambition."

The focus of the awards for primary schools was "Our Active School" week which took place during the week commencing the 6th March, 2006. This week was devoted to promoting physical activity among children and their families. Parents and guardians were encouraged to come to school during that week and take part in planned activities.  All primary schools were then invited to submit projects on "Our Active Week" and information relating to the ongoing physical education programmes in place in their school.  “The primary school curriculum emphasises the value of PE within the overall curriculum” said Minister Hanafin.

At post-primary level the focus was on the Physical Education and co-curricular physical activities programmes which took place during the school year.  Schools were invited to submit a 'Most Sporting School' project.  The projects used elements of performance, multi¬media and reportage and illustrated all aspects of sports activity that the school was involved in.  These ranged from trying new sports, participation, integration and overall sporting ethos of the school, links with local clubs and involving parents in the sporting life of the school. 

 “The physical education programmes contribute to the development of a young person in areas beyond traditional academic formation.  It is well known and widely accepted that one of the foundation stones of a healthy body and mind is physical activity” said Minister Hanafin.

Minister Hanafin thanked and congratulated everyone involved in the awards scheme and said “most of all I want to congratulate all of the young sports enthusiasts who have participated so enthusiastically in these physical activities.  Participation in sport offers so many opportunities to people of all ages and has opened many doors that might otherwise have been closed.”

The schools that took part in the Active Schools National Showcase are:

Primary Schools
St. Joseph's National School, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo – overall winner
Ballyraine National School, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
St. Joseph's Boys National School, Fairview, Dublin 3
St. Peter the Apostle National School, Neilstown, Dublin 22
Meenkilly national School, Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick
Fanore National School, Fanore, Co. Clare
St. Martin's Special School, Ballytruckle, Co. Waterford
Triest National School, Brothers of Charity, Glanmire, Co. Cork

Post-Primary Schools
St. Clare's C.S., Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim
Coláiste Colmcille C.S., Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
Cnoc Mhuire, Granard, Co. Longford
CBS, New Ross, Co. Wexford
Coláiste Choilm C.S., Ballincollig, Co. Cork
Glanmire C.C., Co. Cork – overall winner