Tag Archive for: sports

Sport plays such an important part in the lives of Columbans, with six days of organised games each week. The traditional College winter sports, rugby and hockey, are complimented by a vibrant basketball programme, a growing archery tradition, the thrills of polocrosse (think lacrosse on horseback) and, this year, a brilliant golf academy.

The Golf Academy, eight weeks in, is already an undoubted success. Twelve young golfers, pictured above, have been given the opportunity to practice or play golf every day. A new driving and pitching range is planned (this term, the cricket pitch has been transformed) and a new indoor golf studio will begin construction soon. Of course, all our pupils have access to the College golf course, which provides a tricky challenge for any golfer. The young golfers are showing amazing progress already, under the watchful eye of our new golf professional Josh Adams PGA. For more information on the Golf Academy click here or follow their progress on Instagram.

Archery has been a sport which attracts those with a keen eye and a competitive edge. These past few weeks have been fantastic in terms of weather, making for great practice sessions. The team has welcomed new archers, and all are progressing very well. Senior archers have worked especially on their posture by shooting blindfolded, which they enjoyed very much indeed! We look forward to honing their skills further, with the help of Madame de Fréin.

Rugby is off to a good start this year with the Seniors competing for the newly established Ian McKinley Cup, in a new format which brings together 7 of our traditional rival schools to compete in a league format. We have played 4 league games and have taken maximum points with good wins over Templeogue, Newpark, De la Salle and, this week, St. Benildus. The Juniors have also got off to a very good start to their league campaign with four wins from five games, including a thrilling 31-30 victory over Sandford Park having come back from 20-5 down at halftime.
It’s been a great term so far for girls’ basketball with some excellent performances from the Senior A and Cadette A teams against Kings Hospital, High School, Sancta Maria and Beaufort. The Senior Girls now qualify for the regional playoffs while the Cadette narrowly lost out on a spot. The Senior B girls’ team played four very competitive games and have shown great improvement over the past few weeks. The Senior Boys’ squads have trained consistently and produced excellent performances recently against Woodbrook College and St. Killian’s, CS. Unfortunately, they did not qualify for the playoffs but will compete in the Plate Competitions after the half-term.
In hockey, it is great to see our first year girls performing so well in training and the improvement has been staggering so far. They played in a competitive blitz with Newpark and De La Salle and had a loss to Headfort; they start their league after half-term. The Senior league & cup campaigns have begun with the 1st XI winning the first round of the cup 2-0 on a very wet day in Celbridge against St. Wolstans. The Junior League has also begun with a win. The Minor leagues also begin after half-term. The boys’ hockey squads have been equally busy, with some excellent results recorded. Our Senior XI were incredibly unlucky to miss out on an All-Ireland place on penalty goals.

It has been wonderful to see the full sports programme return this term, with the necessary regulations being followed carefully to ensure a safe yet enjoyable experience for players and coaches. It’s been an extremely busy eight weeks for our young athletes. The full games programme is now up and running with daily training for the traditional College sports (rugby, hockey, basketball) being supplemented by our excellent AGC (Athletic Gymnastic Conditioning) programme, tennis, polocrosse and golf.

In hockey, the red, white and green jerseys are back on the field with over 40 competitive girls hockey fixtures completed already. It’s been similar number of fixtures in the boys game, with plenty of potential from all our young athletes. The senior boys were unlucky to lose their All Ireland qualifier recently to Newpark Comprehensive. They battled back to score at the death, forcing a shoot out, but narrowly lost. Many congratulations to Form III pupil Harry St. Leger who captained the Leinster Under 16 squad during their inter-provincial series. The basketball season took a little longer to get going, but training did take place in the September sunshine before going indoors when the restrictions allowed. There have been a number of friendly fixtures played to date with competitive league games beginning after half term. In rugby, the senior squad have had a good start to the season with convincing wins over De La Salle and St Conleth’s and a close loss to Templeogue College. The senior development side played a very competitive fixture against Clongowes earlier this week but came out second best to a well drilled side. The junior squad are off to a dream start with three wins from three and are showing amazing potential. The Form I and II boys have played some very good matches against De La Salle and Mount Temple also and will look forward to more games after half term. More individual honours: congratulations to Form V pupil Tom Larke, he has been selected to represent the Ireland Under 18 club team against their Italian counterparts (in Italy) over half term.

Experienced horse riders have been the opportunity to play polocrosse (a mixture of polo and lacrosse) and the fine autumnal weather has provided plenty of opportunity to play tennis and golf (on our excellent and challenging nine hole golf course). There are some exciting developments being announced soon about our golf programme – stay tuned!

The best place to find details on our sports fixtures, and their results, can be found on our Twitter feed.

The College is delighted to announce details of a fantastic charitable event taking place this April – Run til the Sun! On Saturday, April 25th, Old Columban Alex Panayotou – an accomplished long-distance runner – will challenge herself to run for 24 hours around the College campus. She is looking for your support along the way – both financial and physical – to complete this mammoth challenge.

The event is being organised by a committee of pupils, who have decided that all proceeds from the event should go to Purple House Cancer Support – a fantastic charitable organisation based in Bray that provide hands-on practical support for children and teenagers with cancer. They have set up a fundraising page here where all donations, large and small, will be gratefully received.

You will soon be able to sign up to join Alex on a leg of her journey; perhaps you’re willing to run for a half-hour, 10 kilometres or even something more ambitious? You can run in the morning, afternoon, evening or even at night time – with the course illuminated along the way. The event will culminate with a celebratory barbeque at the Cricket Pavillion on Sunday evening.

The pupils have created a dedicated page for the event here and a donations page here. They have a fundraising target of €8000, which would be transformational for Purple House, as the vast majority of their funding is through donations. We were delighted to welcome Purple House to the College Chapel last Monday to hear about the work they did and some of the organising committee visited their facility in Bray a few weeks ago. Alex is a cancer survivor, another reason why the charity resonated with the pupils.

So please do get involved, donate to the cause, sponsor a runner or run a leg of the journey yourself. We would love the whole community to get involved – pupils, staff, parents, Old Columbans, friends of the College and even local primary schools.