Life Learning

Sunday 21 September 2014

Students turn the wheels of innovation

Published 03/04/2014 | 02:30

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Cathal Daly who won the top prize for his simple but effective bike stand. Mark Stedman

STUDENTS are flexing their innovative muscles to set up lucrative careers for the future.

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A love of cycling proved to be the ride to success for a secondary school pupil who scooped the top prize in the prestigious Student Enterprise Awards.

Young mountain biking enthusiast Cathal Daly (16), from De La Salle College in Waterford, combined his love of cycling with his talent for woodwork to come up with a unique hardwood bike stand that is simple, portable and secure.

The stand is the only one designed for expensive racing bikes that holds them by the pedal, protecting their frame and wheels. A member of Commeragh Cycling Club, Cathal revealed how he got the idea over the summer when he was looking for a stand for his own bicycle.

"It's a handy tool for cyclists to do some cleaning or maintenance for their bike and I got the idea after realising that I could do with one myself," he said.

"I wasn't really happy with what was out there – and I like the way my stand doesn't touch off the frame or the rims at all. There's nothing really like it out there, so I like that aspect of it as well."

The teenage entrepreneur revealed that they are currently selling "like hot cakes", as his company Upright Cycle Stands took first prize in the Senior Category of the Student Enterprise Awards yesterday at Croke Park in Dublin.

Organised by the County and City Enterprise Boards, a record-breaking 17,000 students from 370 schools have researched, set up and managed their own real-life businesses.

Students Leah Barry, Aine Upton and Muireann Ni Tobin from Gaelcholaiste Ui Chonba, Newcastlewest, Co Limerick, won the top prize in the Intermediate category for their innovative App, Teacher's P.E.T. which is a teaching resource with teaching games for children.

Irish Independent

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