Sligo RFC’s annual blitz for primary schools was held in Hamilton Park on Wednesday last,and was a resounding success. A record 420 pupils, who are coached by Youth Development officer, Gavin Foley, and his work placement assistants from Sligo I.T., Oonagh Morrissey and Nigel Byrne, played in the blitz. The schools represented were Mercy Primary, St. Brendan’s, St. Edward’s, Ransboro, Strandhill, Geevagh, Sooey, Carraroe, Scoil Ursula and Gael Scoil.
The day commenced with a parade of the ten schools, who all wore the colours of an International side. The YDO and his assistants awarded the prize for this section to Sooey NS. In the blitz, the emphasis was on participation and enjoyment, and everybody got some game time.
The ‘Fair Play’ award for the school which showed the most co-operation throughout the year was won by Geevagh N.S., while Strandhill N.S. won the award for the school deemed by the YDO to have displayed the best skills on the day.
All participants were treated to refreshments by the club. At the presentations, club President, Tom Gilligan, welcomed all players and teachers, and paid a special tribute to all Principals and teachers in the schools who avail of the YDO scheme. He congratulated Gavin Foley on his outstanding work in the schools, and also thanked his assistants, Oonagh Morrissey and Nigel Byrne, as well as expressing his gratitude to the blitz referees, Oonagh, Nigel, Jamie Livingstone, Martin Feeney, Niall Kenneally and Paddy Mannion. Gavin Foley thanked the staffs in all the schools, congratulated the players on their exemplary behaviour, and thanked Sligo RFC and the Connacht Branch.
Among the attendance were Eamonn Molloy, Connacht Regional Development Officer, and Martin Gallagher the Provincial Domestic Game Manager, and they could not but be impressed with the skills which were displayed. The Triple Crown Trophy, won for the second successive year by Ireland, was on display, and all schools were photographed with the famous trophy.
More photos from the day can be found here.