Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney achieves the Active School Flag

Active flag

On Friday 22nd January, the Active School Flag was officially presented to Principal Mr. Kelly, by the Active School Flag Committee and invited guests, Barry McGinn, Muireann Atkinson, Nadine Rice and Conor Marray. Left to Right: Cormac McKenna (Active School Flag Committee), Mr. O’Boyle (Active School Flag Co-ordinator), Muireann Atkinson (Monaghan Senior footballer and 3-time Colleges All Star), Barry McGinn (Mac Larnon Cup joint captain and Monaghan Senior footballer), Eileen Cullen (Active School Flag Committee), Darragh Drury (Active School Flag Committee), Emily Madden (Active School Flag Committee), Frank Connolly (Active School Flag Committee), Conor Marray (Mac Larnon Cup winner and Monaghan Minor footballer), Nadine Rice (Represented Basketball Ireland at underage level), Mr. Kelly (Principal & MacLarnon Cup team coach). Missing: Emma Kerr (Active School Flag Committee).
Congratulations to Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney, on being one of only 40 post primary schools in Ireland to be awarded with Active School Flag status. It is the first post primary school in County Monaghan and also in the North East Region of Ireland, to achieve this prestigious Award.

The Active School Flag is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy Ireland. It is awarded to schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community. It requires schools to self-evaluate in terms of Physical Education/Physical Activity and Partnerships and to include an Active School Week as part of their annual school calendar.

Active School Week took place in Our Lady’s Secondary School from 27th April – 1st May 2015. The activities that were undertaken during this week included the following: a spinaton, kick fada, a talk by Jason Hughes on the importance of a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind, smoothies on sale at lunch time and a Sports Day. Physical Education teacher, Mr Joe O’Boyle, is the Active School Co-ordinator and involved various Departments in the school. Together with the Active School Flag Committee, they helped with the planning and organising of the Active School Week.  5th Year students, Frank Connolly, Emma Kerr, Darragh Drury, Eileen Cullen, Cormac McKenna and Emily Madden were the members of the Active School Committee and deserve tremendous credit in achieving the Active School Flag.

Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney, has a rich tradition in sport and physical activity and provides an extensive extra-curricular programme. In Gaelic Football,  the school participates in U13, U14, U15, U16 and Senior Boys and Girls Ulster Colleges GAA competitions, with the Senior Boys team winning the Mac Larnon Cup last March. There have also been recent success on the football field, with the Senior Girls Gaelic Football team winning the Ulster Title two weeks ago and the U-16 Girls Gaelic Football team also qualifying for the Ulster Final. Our Lady’s Camoige team won provincial honours last year. In basketball the school enters 1st and 2nd Year, U16 and U18 teams in the North-East Basketball leagues. The U14 boys and girls basketball teams reached the All Ireland Finals in 2015. In Soccer, U14, U16, U18 teams take part in Ulster Schools competitions and also participate in Futsal. In Athletics, Our Lady’s Secondary School students have competed at district, Ulster and All Ireland level, with Darragh and Jayne Drury reaching National Finals. Our Lady’s Secondary School have competed in the Triathlon Ireland Triathlon, Triathlon Ireland Aquathlon and Swim Ireland Ulster Secondary Schools competitions. Students have also represented the school in volleyball, rugby and equestrian events showing that the school offers a very comprehensive Physical Education programme for all its students.