Rugby star unveils ‘Active Flag’ at Cahir school

Tommy O'Donnell, Anne Carroll, principal Laois Power, Active School Flag coordinator
There was great excitement in Our Lady of Mercy with the official launch of the Active School flag by local rugby celebrity Tommy O’Donnell.

There was great excitement in Our Lady of Mercy with the official launch of the Active School flag by local rugby celebrity Tommy O’Donnell.

Tommy was recently named player of the year and the school were delighted when he agreed to launch their flag. This flag is awarded to schools who promote a physically active lifestyle.

At the start of every school year an active flag committee is elected with two children from second to sixth class. Monthly meetings are held to discuss how the school can become more active. Each child gets feedback and ideas from their own class. They also give information back to their class about any new activities. The children on this year’s committee are Leanne Haide, Wicktoria Kopec, Erin O’Looney, Melanie Doherty, Loren Ward, Mary Gerges, Niamh Costigan, Jennifer Carrie, Margaret Barsoum and Kate Hyland.

Teachers, children and parents all work together to encourage the school community to become more active. Parents and members of the football and camogie clubs all share their skills and train children. A series of strategies are implemented to promote physical activity. Co-operative games take place during lunch breaks on Thursdays, run by sixth class for the younger children. A skipping rota is worked for older children. They really enjoy improving their skipping skills. Children are also encouraged to run around the field during their lunch breaks. On Tuesdays children are given active school homework to bring an awareness of the benefits of physical activity home.

The school had a course of touch rugby this year which proved very popular with the children as most of them had never played before. Orienteering skills were taught to the children and they enjoyed learning how to use maps. The school wishes to thank all who are involved in running physical activities in the school and sharing their expertise. If you have any particular skills or training in a sport which would enhance this initiative they would be delighted if you would share it with them.