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Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche Bunkers Hill, Castlewellan

Reathaíocht Trastíre

18th Jan 2023

Comhghairdeas lenár ndaltaí ó Rang 5 go Rang 7 a chuaigh go Delamont Dé Luain chun páirt a ghlacadh sna rásaí trastíre. D'éirigh go hiontach leo ar fad agus molaimid gach iarracht uathu. Comhghairdeas speisialta le Saorlaith agus le Harry ar éirigh leo boinn a bhaint ina gcuid rásaí. Ba mhaith linn mar scoil buíochas ollmhór ó chroí a ghabháil arís le Siobhán agus le Connaire as an obair mhór atá déanta acu thar na blianta lenár gcuid reathaithe, go háirithe le Siobhán as an obair riaracháin a dhéanann sí do na rásaí agus as an tacaíocht ar fad a thug sí dúinn Dé Luain. Agus féachaigí ar an tuairisc iontach seo atá scríofa aici den rás. Buíochas fosta le gach duine a tháinig le cuidiú le síobanna agus le tacaíocht a thabhairt do na daltaí. Go raibh maith agaibh.

Congratulations to our Rang 5/6/7 pupils who went to Delamont on Monday to take part in the cross-country races. They all ran brilliantly and we commend all their efforts. Special congratulations to Saorlaith and to Harry who won medals in their races. As a school we would like to say a huge thank you again to Siobhán and Connaire for the great work they have done over the years with our runners, especially Siobhán for the administrative work she does for the races and for the extra support she gave us Monday. And check out this great report Siobhán’s written on the race. Thanks also to everyone who came to help out with lifts and to support the pupils.


Race Report from Siobhán Grant:

As the rays of winter sunshine shone through the trees at Delamont Country Park and the ice glistened on the blades of grass, the very peaceful morning was soon to welcome hundreds of local primary school children for the second round of Flavahans Cross Country League. 

Before Athletics NI even began to set up the event, this event had already posed drama between being postponed in December to multiple changes of venues. Hoping that was where the drama ended, the young athletes of Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche were ready for it either way  . 

For once the addition of minus temperatures played to the advantage of the runners allowing the top inch or two of ground to harden overnight to give a bit more traction underfoot and for parents, resulting in less scrubbing of clothing.

Schools from as far north as Bangor and south as Castlewellan, with all schools in between, all took to the line to represent their schools over the 1200m course. 


The day kicked off with the Fun Run which was a mixed event pitching the boys and girls against eachother. The Bunscoil fielded 10 individuals in this race and for many of them this was their first taste of such an event. Some super displays of determination saw every runner give their best and all reported that it was great fun and has encouraged them to keep training hard.

The girls open race was up next and after missing a podium spot by 1 second in Castlereagh, Saorlaith McAleenan wasn't going to let that happen again. After representing the County at All Ireland level, she harnessed that experience and left it all out on route. Cruising up the final hill, she had secured enough space between herself and second place to leave her unchallenged over the final 100m earning a well deserved 1st place. 

She was soon followed by P6 Méadhbha Pickering who has shown amazing promise within cross country. Emer Quinn ran a strong race and was quickly followed by Halle Flannagan, Caoimhe Ferris and Aoife Grant who put on a united front around the course to push each other onto the end. 

The hotly contested Boys race was the final event of the day and many familiar faces from the Club Cross Country circuit had popped up along the start line, setting this race up as one to watch. 

There were no prisoners taken from the whistle and amongst the 'big' P7 boys was the Bunscoil's Harry McVeigh. Yet even at 9 years old, age is just a number to Harry and won't stop him making his intentions known within this competition. Sitting comfortably in 8th place at halfway, he used his race experience and pointers handed out on the course recce to manoeuvre his way up the field, crossing the line in an impressive and hard fought for 3rd place. 

Older brother Connaire Óg made up several places in the final straight pulling along teammate Rossa McAleenan who also has two years to spare in this competition. Rory Quinn and Darragh Rodgers took it home for the Bunscoil in spectacular fashion with sprint finishes. 

Two of the six main medals shone,  like the sun had done through the trees, around the necks of Saorlaith and Harry as their team mates congratulated them on their wins. For a small school in Castlewellan to produce such an amazing performance really is an incredible achievement. However the league still has one more race to go in Castlewellan, so back to Bunkers we go in pursuit of some more notable performances on home turf. 

The Bunscoil would also like to extend their congratulation to local schools, St Malachy's Primary School, St Joseph's Carnacavill, St.Mary's Newcastle, Newcastle Primary and to all their young athletes for spectacular performances in Monday's races also. This wee pocket of land has a lot of talent coming to light through this competition.