Thursday 27 June 2019

Ferns school hits the jackpot with win

Scoil Naomh Maodhóg over the moon following Aldi sports competition windfall

Scoil Naomh Maodhog pupils celebrating with principal John Halford and Paul O’Connell
Scoil Naomh Maodhog pupils celebrating with principal John Halford and Paul O’Connell

Brendan Keane

Scoil Naomh Maodhóg in Ferns has won a massive €50,000 sports facility makeover in a national 'play rugby' sticker competition run in conjunction with Aldi and the IRFU.

Rugby legend, Paul O'Connell, visited the school last week to mark the school's success and present it with its cheque.

The competition ran between January and April this year.

The win was a massive achievement for the school as the competition was a nationwide initiative.

Commenting on the win, Principal, John Halford, said everyone in Scoil Naomh Maodhóg was 'beyond thankful and grateful' to receive the prize.

'I would like to pay a special tribute to Mrs Quinn who was the driving force behind the Aldi play rugby initiative in our school and without whose efforts we would not be in this extremely fortunate position,' he said,

Mr Halford also paid tribute to the pupils and families who brought in stickers and he highlighted how Mr O'Connell made a lasting, positive impression on everyone during his visit.

The Aldi Play Rugby programme saw 100,000 children, from over 1,200 primary schools across the country, sign up to take part over the last 12 months and 44 per cent of those are primary school girls aged between 7 and 12.

A spokesperson for Aldi said the programme is part of the company's 'commitment to supporting the communities it serves' like initiatives such as the link with FoodCloud which resulted in the company donating two million meals to 230 partner charities throughout Ireland to-date.

'The Aldi Community Grants programme has donated more than €250,000 since 2016 to community groups selected by each store,' said the spokesperson.

Scoil Naomh Maodhág was one of two schools to win €50,000 in the play rugby sticker competition with four other schools, one from each province, also winning €2,500 worth of training equipment.

Through the competition, and such was its success, Aldi will be sending out over 16,000 rugby balls and over 24,000 water bottles to primary schools across the country.

Paul O'Connell said good quality coaching, equipment and facilities can make a big difference in developing rugby players from a young age and commented: 'I'd like to congratulate all the schools who took part in the promotion and to the winning schools, no doubt the prizes will make a huge difference.'

Gorey Guardian