Top prizes for St Mary’s pupils

St Mary's netball team pictured at the Ulster finals alongside the two team coaches Miss N King (left) and Mrs C Turley (right).
St Mary's netball team pictured at the Ulster finals alongside the two team coaches Miss N King (left) and Mrs C Turley (right).

PUPILS at St Mary’s PS in Banbridge were rewarded for their seven years of hard work during their recent prize-giving assembly.

The assembly on Friday June 17, was held in honour of the pupils’ academic sporting and arts achievements over the past year. School Principal Mr Des O’Hagan, along with teaching staff, presented the children with their certificates and medals at the assembly which was attended by pupils, teachers and parents.

The awards given illustrated the wide variety of activities that the children were able to engage in throughout the year.

First up were the Arts Awards, which recognised achievements in Drama, Music and Art. These were presented to Ronan Malumphy for his excellence in Art; The Music award was presented to the talented Alana Kerr, who plays the Cello, Violin and the Piano. Aimee Dickson received the Drama award for her contribution to the performing arts throughout her time at St. Mary’s.

Next up were the sports prizes and this year belonged to the school’s Netball Team, led by Primary four teacher, Mrs Cathy Turley. Her team of talented young players made school history by reaching the Ulster Finals for the first time. Mrs Turley commended the entire team for their commitment and hard work over the last couple of years. In the individual Netball Awards, Jessica Thompson was presented with the Players’ Player of the Year award, while Zara Sloan picked up the Coach’s Player of the Year prize. Olivia McQuaid scooped the Most Improved award as well as the prestigious Noble Shield. However, it was not an easy task to single out any of the girls, as Mrs Turley explained. “It was a very difficult decision to single out any of the girls as they all showed great commitment and worked so well as a team,” she said.

In athletics Eva Henning and Keelan Quigley picked up the honours for cross-country, while Ryan Devlin received a hat trick of awards when he was nominated Players’ Player of the Year for Soccer and Coaches’ Player of the year in Gaelic. He also managed to scoop the Sports Personality of the Year award.

His fellow pupil and team mate Ethan McDonald took the Soccer Manager’s accolade while Jack Campbell picked up the Gaelic Players’ Player, award. Also acknowledged in the Gaelic and soccer section where Caleb Walker, as the most improved soccer player and Fergal Vaughan for his improvement in Gaelic.

The Gaelic Games awards continued, as Jack Moan picked up the top prize for Hurling, alongside Eammon O’Hagan, as the most improved player. But not to be out done the girls followed, when Leah Meney scooped the Camogie Player of the Year followed by team mate Katie McVeigh, who was recognised for her obvious improvement in the sport and hard work throughout the year.

Primary fives, six and sevens got the chance to compete against each other in a Football Tournament which took place in Cheney Park at the end of May, where Jack Campbell lifted the Bronze Medals for his team, followed by Ethan McDonald’s side in second spot; the gold taken by Joshua Kearns on behalf of his winning team.

As well as a wide variety of sporting and arts for pupils to take part in, the principle and staff at the school have worked extremely hard to ensure that each child is given the opportunity to explore their talents. This has been achieved through the various clubs that are run throughout the year, on a weekly basis. The Fabulous Food Club Award went to culinary whiz, Glen McKeown, while budding gardener, Dion McDonald picked up the prize for the all new Gardening Club. Caitlin McCourt was presented with the award for Indoor Bowls and Joshua Armstrong took the Clay and Weaving prize. In the creative endeavour of Cards and Calligraphy, Caitlin McArdle proved to be a cut above the rest and Aoibhin Doherty was one step ahead of the game, collecting the prize for the Boards and Games Club.

In the football Club, Cormac Downey took the top spot, as did Lauren McGrath for her endeavour and enthusiasm in the Netball Club.

As proceedings came to an end it was time for the Primary Seven, Pupil of the Year winners to be announced. This award is very special in that each student selects a boy and girl from their class. This award reflects not only their academic ability but more importantly their social and creative contribution to the class. This year the top prizes went to Ronan Malumphy and Ciara Vaughan in Mrs Morrow’s class and Katie Gibson and Thomas Perera in Mr Martin’s class, with Caitlin burns and Shane Campbell winning the overall prize for their wonderful contribution to school life.

Speaking after the presentations, school Principal, Mr Des O’Hagan commended all his staff and the pupils for their commitment and hard work throughout the year.

“ I am very proud of all our pupils and our annual prize giving is an opportunity, not only to acknowledge their efforts and achievements, but also to commend the teachers and classroom assistants, who without, this would not be possible,” said Mr O’Hagan.