Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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News & Events Archive

30/12/2003 GAELIC SPORTS AT LORETO GAIN NATIONAL RECOGNITION

2003 saw the inaugural Irish News Gaelic Clubs Awards. Mr Paul Cunning and I prepared a submission, based on the development of Gaelic Sports within the school in the past seven years.

It may have surprised others in Ulster, that out of the hundreds of entries, Loreto was adjudged the best schools’ entry, but to those of us who have witnessed the growth of Gaelic sports in the last few years, it was simply reward for hard work and effort.

It is difficult for current students to envisage what conditions were like for teams in the past. There was no pitch on-site, no gaelic footballs, one set of jerseys and although teams were entered for competitions, fixtures were rarely completely fulfilled. It is a measure of the dedication and commitment of our staff that the school has come so far in such a short time.

Who would have believed seven years ago that we would be looking to go to Casement Park on St Patrick’s Day to play alongside the likes of St Patrick’s College, Maghera? Yes, we may only have been competing in the McLarnon Cup, but when you consider that we compete against schools with a greater tradition and a greater number of boys to choose from, things come sharply into perspective, Loreto has become a force to be reckoned with in schools’ Gaelic sports.

The Irish News recognised this improvement, and also the ambition of staff to build on past achievements. The adjudicators were impressed at the wide range of participation at all levels, and at the level of commitment shown by the staff involved. We were commended for our participation in all Gaelic sports and associated activities.

The award consists of a cheque for £1000 from the Irish News and a £500 voucher from O’Neill’s Sports. The money will be used to develop Gaelic sports even more, and who knows, in another couple of years we may achieve our ambition of winning the McLarnon Cup. The longest journeys start with a single step, and we have at least taken that step.

Mr M James, Loreto College Coleraine