As part of the RILSA ongoing promotions within our College, School & Youth Reach areas, Fergal O’Brien visited Ballinabranna National Primary School in Carlow. Ballinabranna N.S. was the first of our Primary Schools to receive snooker tables followed by Leighlinbridge, Ballon and Hacketstown along with Knockbeg College over the past 5 years.
St Laserians also received a full size table and was featured in an earlier post. Bilboa National School is next on our list of Schools to receive tables in the near future.
Fergal’s visit to Ballinabranna was hailed a great success as 4th, 5th & 6th classes have all played snooker since the tables were donated by RILSA. The principal Joe Doheny is delighted to have snooker at the school as it adds to their sporting curriclum along with giving students choice of sports that they can all try out.
Ballinabranna has been to the forefront of Primary School promotions for RILSA from the get go, with Orla Fitzpatrick taking the inaugural RILSA Primary School National Championship in 2014 with Lauren McGrath from Hacketstown winning in 2015 but the title went back to Ballinabranna in 2016 with Keara Minion taking the title.
Grace Byrne took the RILSA Junior U12 title this year and also won the U13 Stars Academy Ireland title 2017, the first girl to win a Stars title since its inception by Dermot Dalton back in 1981. The boys have had success this year with Gavin Dowling from the School winning Stars U12 Championship and Michael Dooley reaching the final.
Rachel Doran & Amanda Walsh represented the School and Ireland at the inaugural RILSA International Irish Open in 2015.
Fergal was amazed at the numbers playing the sport and the interest that is out there and said “that the positive manner along with the passion of RILSA towards growing the women’s sport is astounding and well done to the team at RILSA” we are only too happy to see Fergal in his element among the children at our Schools over the period before term ends for the summer.
We wish Fergal every success for the future and look forward to seeing him back in the autumn when he will continue to visit more of our member Schools around the Country.
Thanks to Joe, Brenda and all the teachers at Ballinabranna for all their support over the past number of years and may it continue into the future as we make fantastic progress in our promotions.
A big thank you to Annette who was on board at all the visits and is one of our top promoters of the sport in our Association. Annette has contributed so much of her time and energy towards RILSA and it’s initiative over many years, is so very much appreciated us at RILSA.