Monday 22 December 2014

‘Justin Bieber of hurling’ is far more than a pretty face

Emma Jane Hade

Published 24/10/2013 | 13:09

Clare's Shane O'Donnell with his Opel Player of the Month Award for September
Clare's Shane O'Donnell with his Opel Player of the Month Award for September

HE has been described as the Justin Bieber of GAA- but Clare’s Shane O’Donnell has proved there’s more to him than his pretty face, as he has been revealed as an ambassador for Science Forward.

The primary-school initiative aims to get young students thinking about science prior to their formative secondary school years, and O’Donnell said he was delighted to be involved.

Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday at the launch of this year’s Science Forward programme in Trinity College Dublin, the 19-year-old said it was a “no brainer” when coming on board the programme.

“It’s fantastic to be involved in something like this.  If I had someone talking to me with the profile that I seemed to have built up over the last few weeks back when I was in sixth class, I’d really have taken it on board.”

O’Donnell is currently studying for a degree in Genetics in University College Cork, and he said he was thrilled to be helping “people to do something I am passionate about.”

“It really was a no brainer,” he added.

Now in its third year, Science Forward is set to reach 2,000 sixth class students across the country.

The initiative is run in partnership with Junior Achievement and Bord Gáis Networks.

Caroline O’Connor from Bord Gáis, said the programme is “a series of interactive, fun and engaging workshops for kids.”

“We take the kids to a third-level institute.  And, for a whole morning, from 9.30am to 1.30pm, they work on three interactive workshops.”

Ms O’Connor revealed that Shane O’Donnell was recruited a month ago, and that he was “an obvious choice” as an ambassador.

“It was quite an obvious choice for us.  He came aboard about a month ago.  He was quite eager to get involved in something like this, because science is something that is very close to his own heart.

Adding:  “He’s 19, he’s a lovely guy, and he’s passionate about science.  The kids will love him.  He’s very engaging, very fun, and is very hands on.”

Irish Independent

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