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Full steam ahead as cutting-edge Larkin continues to lead way

Sports Played: Soccer, Gaelic Football/Hurling, Boxing, Badminton, Table Tennis, Swimming, Volleyball, Basketball, Athletics, Cross Country, Rock Climbing/Bouldering and Olympic Handball.

Situated in the heart of Dublin city, Larkin Community College is a co-educational college. Opened in September 1999, the Champions Avenue college's brand new high-tech building is located only a stone's throw from O'Connell Street.

Among its facilities is a Sports and Leisure Centre, deemed one of the most modern in Ireland, equipped to a very high standard with specialist amenities such as a large fully equipped sports hall, astroturf pitch, fitness suite and a climbing wall.

Availing of these wonderful facilities, students at the north inner city college have been hugely successful in capturing numerous titles over the years, competing in the CDVEC annual sporting events run by the Sports and Cultural Council (SCC) and other schools' sporting competitions.

And, with teachers Lisa Doogan, Ger McGill, Tommy Browne and Mick Browne at the helm, their sporting ethos to keep on developing personalities and encourage the students through sport means it's full steam ahead as usual. One of last year's successes saw the college capture the overall schools' treble, winning the Hannigan and Robinson Cups and the Gabrielle Coates Trophy at the VEC Track and Field Athletic Championship at Morton Stadium, with Clara Hilliard picking up the girls Athlete of the Meet Award.

On the soccer front, an exciting new initiative, originally started in partnership with Shelbourne FC, was launched in September 2001. The Learning Through Soccer is a scholarship programme open to both boys and girls from all over Dublin and is an innovative approach to education, which combines the Junior Cert cycle study with extra training and coaching in soccer.

"It has been a fabulous success, superb overall for the school and the students involved, to keep students in education through the soccer scholarship that may otherwise drop out is fantastic" said coach Neil O'Donnell.

Out on the pitch the school is reaping the rewards becoming Leinster champions at U16 last year, while also winning the FAI U14 Schools Cup a number of times over previous years.

Past pupils to have come through the scholarship include Conor Clifford, presently playing in the Chelsea reserves, Aaron Dolan of Blackburn Rovers and John Sullivan at Hamilton in Scotland.

On the home front, present pupils include Brandon Miele, with the 15-year-old signing for Newcastle United and being heralded as one to watch for the future, and underage internationals Graham Burke, Kirsty Hogan and Shauna Eccles.

On the Gaelic football front, Larkin have won the Tom Quinlan Cup and the U14 Dublin Leinster league, along with SCC titles at all levels. With McGill, Dublin senior ladies football manager, and his assistant management team of Tommy and Mick Browne coaching the students the likelihood is there are more achievements to come.

Basketball is another popular sport, with the school celebrating a hat-trick of wins for the girls' teams at minor, junior and intermediate levels at last year's VEC basketball finals held at the national basketball arena in Tallaght.

Larkin have also claimed SCC titles at individual and team levels at bouldering, swimming, soccer, badminton, boxing, volleyball and Olympic handball over recent years. While Irish-dancing teacher Lisa Doogan has watched her dancers amass top honours at Dublin, All-Ireland and American championships.