Active School’s Week

Glenstal’s inaugural Active Schools Week took place from May 18th to May 24th. The week’s

timetable changed as the week progressed for one reason or another but in the end, it seems it

was a very enjoyable and, moreover, a very active week for all involved here at Glenstal Abbey


Unfortunately, burnout would prove an issue as once the 1 mile walk was completed, the bodies and minds

resisted any further activity and so, the basketball free throwing, the tag rugby, the tug of war

and the wellie throwing would all be postponed. The bodies would need the recovery and

recuperation time given that the much anticipated Sports Day was on Sunday, May 24th.

Photos of all activities will be here on the website and videos accompany certain activities also.

Monday’s activities were hampered by a blustery evening but nonetheless, the activities proved

to be great fun for those who got involved.


The soccer crossbar challenge looked like it would

have no winner until both Darragh Butler and Aidan Booth struck the lateral bar in the sudden

death round [See Videos]. The Cic Fada was a closely fought affair with Robert McAleese,

Ruáirí Woodcock and Darragh Butler exchanging pole position on a number of occasions.

However, the boot of Robert McAleese would prevail in the 1st year group while James

Donaldson saw off the competitive Louis Capitaine in the 3rd year competition. The rugby drop

kicking tournament provided the highlight of the evening. Aidan Booth looked like he had the

competition won with three successful kicks until a review of video evidence revealed one of the

kicks was taken outside of the designated area. A three way battle ensued between Aidan

Booth, Darragh Butler and Ruáirí Woodcock. In the second sudden death round, Ruáirí

Woodcock landed a superbly measured drop-kick to win the competition [See Video]. Louis

Capitaine won the 3rd year competition.


Tuesday really saw the Active Schools Week burst into life. A fine afternoon’s sun blessed the

school yard where Mr. Trevor Fitzgerald had organised the Cricket bowling event. The hard

working Australians, Mr. Cameron Duffy and Mr. Tom Dalton, were the batters as the staff and

students attempted to bowl them out! It provided great entertainment for all involved [See


A big crowd was drawn to the pitches after school for the much discussed and

anticipated staff versus 6th year students soccer match. The students prevailed in a match that

was played in excellent spirit on a scoreline of 3-2. Referee Jack Stafford, 5th year, did a superb

job of officiating with the aid of some of his peers on the sideline.

As if that wasn’t enough for one day, there was a run of over 5 km that evening for any student who registered prior to the

end of the school day. Patrick Hayes and Henry Farrell ran impressively in times of 21:54 and

24:21 respectively to earn the top spots. Plaudits to Mr. Mike Quinlivan who also ran the race.


Wednesday’s proceedings were full of fun and participation by many of the staff and students.

The sports hall was a hive of activity as the teachers took the students on again! First, three

games of Volleyball. The students took the first game on a scoreline of 21-12. The second game

was tied at 15 each before the students scored six points on the trot. In the third game, it looked

like the teachers would record their first win when they shot into a 12-4 lead. However, it was

the students who showed the composure to bounce back and win 21-18 [See Video]. Shortly

after, a game of tip rugby broke out and this was great fun for all involved [See Video].

The pace of the week began to slow down – thankfully!!


Thursday’s activity was a penalty shootout held in the sports hall during lunch time. Mr. Adam Newman played the role of

netminder and he proved very difficult to beat. Take a look for yourself! [See Video]. When

Friday arrived, many were in celebratory mood for numerous reasons. The jersey day had the

school sprayed in many colours of many jerseys from many sports. This provided an excellent

photo at the back gate for the group of staff and students who had earlier congregated at the

cannon for the 1.2 mile walk. During the week, different year groups and staff members wore

pedometers in an attempt record and assess the walking enthusiasts among us. Some scores

were dubiously much higher and so we can only count scores we feel are recorded honestly.

Glenstal participants, students and staff, averaged 5927 steps in six hours.


With Sports Day on the horizon and significant levels of tiredness setting in as the school year drew to a close, it

was decided that recovery was as important as activity and so Sports Day would see the first

ever Active Schools Week here in Glenstal conclude. A huge thank you is expressed to all of

those who helped out with the Active Schools Week in some shape or form – there are too many

to name! All sports and activities need everyone involved in order to gain the most from it and

Glenstal succeeded in doing that. We look forward to next year’s one already!


Thomas Franklin

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