We were delighted to welcome special guests Minister Simon Harris, Irish rugby player, Michelle Claffey, Arklow running legend, Mary Hickey, local Councillors, representatives from ESB and members of the wider school community for the official opening of our new running track on Friday, 6th December. Minister Simon Harris addressed the assembled crowd on the important health benefits of staying active and he commended the school’s efforts in encouraging students to adopt an active lifestyle. Michelle Claffey spoke to the students about her role on the Irish rugby team and the children had an opportunity to ask her questions. Our Principal, Ross Byrne, thanked everyone involved in the development of the walking track before asking Minister Harris to cut the ribbon. All visitors completed a ramble around the track and the children achieved their challenge to complete a marathon collectively on the day. Refreshments were kindly provided by Ballycoog I.C.A and there was a wonderful atmosphere of celebration on the day.
The running track was made possible through Raheenleagh Wind Farm community funds for which the school was a grateful recipient. The hardcore track runs the 250 metre perimeter of the playing field and organic gardens. It provides an all weather surface for the school lunchtime running club to train for their athletics events and it offers the wider school community, including staff and families, an ideal location for walking. Indeed, since its completion, the school’s weekly WOW (Walk on Wednesdays) mornings have relocated from the Ballycoog road pathway to the school’s walking track, which provides a safer environment for all. Students enjoy a walk or run every morning before class begins, which is a wonderful way to start the day.