A Malahide secondary school – whose students are promoting sustainable travel – has been named “Ireland’s Cycling Secondary School of the Year” by the Green Schools Programme.
At a ceremony in Dublin Zoo during National Bike Week ‘22, Malahide Community School was named “Ireland’s Cycling Secondary School of the Year” while Scoil Áine, Raheny was named “Ireland’s Scooting School of the Year” by the Green-Schools Programme.
The awards followed the schools’ participation in the programme’s “Big Travel Challenge” in February.
Nine schools in total were awarded at the ceremony and named as Cycling, Walking, Scooting and Park ‘n’ Stride Schools of the Year. Gort Community School in Galway was named Ireland’s “Travel School of the Year” at the ceremony.
During February, schools undertook the Green-Schools “Big Travel Challenge” – now in its seventh year - which asked them to concentrate on one sustainable transport mode for two weeks to see if they could achieve real, lasting change in the travel behaviour of their staff and students.
The Challenge is an initiative of Green-Schools Travel, which is supported by the NTA and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Malahide Community School and St. Áine’s both focused on modes of travel for the "Big Travel Challenge” where they saw room for improvement.
In Malahide, students participated in the #andshecycles Ambassador Programme and promoted cycling around the school, through class visits, presentations and posters.
Students dressed in cow costumes for COW Day (“Cycle On Wednesday”) and hired an inflatable obstacle course as a reward for students who cycled.
In Raheny, students created designated scooter parking spots and promoted scooting through posters around the school which displayed the daily number of students scooting.
Congratulating the schools on their achievements, Green-Schools Travel Manager Jane Hackett said: “Habits are hard to break – particularly during the colder, darker winter months. We are excited to be back celebrating the “Big Travel Challenge” in person and I’m seriously impressed with the hard work and dedication these students put into changing travel habits at their school.
"We have a primary school that grew their cycling numbers from one sole student to 15, in a school population of just 25! These results aren’t easily come by so I can’t congratulate our nine winners enough.”