| 12.4°C Dublin

School Focus: Fun the priority at Manor House

Manor House School's sporting ethos aims to provide an environment that promotes positive images of physical activity by encouraging fun and the development of pupils physically, socially and personally.

Hockey and basketball have been two of their finest traditions as far back as the 1970s and 1980s, and the sports have produced many years of success and prestige at the Raheny school.

Under the enthusiastic guidance of Des Ryan, who has been head coach at the school for the past 14 years, this year's senior hockey team reached both the Northside League and the Leinster finals.

Meanwhile in basketball, they became Cadette Premier champions in 2005, before retaining their title in 2006, and were also Division 2 champions. The minors were Premier champions in 2007 before claiming the Division 1 title this year.

The school's motto is 'Smile and Strive', and works on the basis that without a basic enthusiasm and enjoyment of the sport, it is very hard to achieve anything. And volleyball, according to PE teacher Glenn Carpenter, is 'living proof'.

Introduced to Manor House in 2004, the school now boasts 16 teams in the All-Ireland Schools Championship, and was crowned Cadette C All-Ireland champions in 2006. That is something the senior C team hopes to emulate in next week's All-Ireland Schools final at UCD.

GAA, introduced by Caitriona O'Sullivan-Green in 2006, alongside her energetic team of Gavin Beirne, Siobhan Ni Mhuineachain, Jacinta Cleary and Erica Farrell, has gone from strength to strength.

This year, in only their second year of competitive action, the students beat Balbriggan in an intense Dublin final.

Meanwhile, on the camogie front, Marie O'Kelly, Jenny Steed and Raheny's Jimmy Keogh have been the backbone behind the school's achievements at both junior and senior levels in the Dublin League, Championship and Leinster since 1996.

Athletics' -- both cross country and track and field -- recent history culminated in the school's most notable success in 2003, being crowned All- Ireland Cross-Country Champion School.

Backed by local club Raheny Shamrocks and coached by Colette Quinn, the past two years has seen the minor, junior, intermediate and senior girls capture titles of Champion School Track and Field and Cross-Country in North Leinster.

In 2005, the school's soccer team became champion school in the Southern Skies International School Sports Tournament in Brisbane, Australia, competing against teams from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Europe -- an outstanding triumph for the Dublin establishment

Four students -- Andrea Curley, Rosie Maguire, Louise Shanley and Lauren Ebbs -- have represented both Leinster and the Republic of Ireland in the girls' under-15 team.

In swimming, the girls' school hosted its first-ever swimming gala this year, with a large number of students taking to the pool. Leanne Regan, Laura Connelly, Michelle McCarthy and Emma Nolan were crowned champions at the event.

Further success in both junior and senior relay freestyle and medley in the Leinster and All-Ireland Schools Championships have been achieved due to the wonderful support from the Fenton family and coaches of local swimming clubs in the area.