With the introduction of a snooker table to Ballinabranna National School in Carlow by the Billiard Co Dublin, saw an almost immediate uptake in the sport, especially among the girls at the School.
The Principal Joe Dohney was delighted to have snooker as part of their overall sporting activities. Joe is very supportive and encouraging along with all the staff and teachers towards the sport as it gives those young children an opportunity to try out snooker and for many it’s a sport they really enjoy.
Many benefits have emerged with the introduction of snooker, such as social interaction, simple addition for the younger students who find it really enjoyable. A sport for those who would otherwise not have any sporting activity within the school. It also has a calming effect on students while building their confidence in participation in something new along with making new friends from other schools during competition events.
The Inaugural RILSA National Primary School Championship was held in 2014 and with that came immediate success for Ballinabranna N.S. when Orla Fitzpartick won the title in Carlow.
2015 saw two girls make it to the RILSA International Irish Open at Joey’s Dublin when Amanda Walsh and Rachel Doran qualified from the school.
Success once again for Ballinabranna when Keara Minion won the 2016 National Primary School title.
2017 was yet another very successful year for the school with Grace Byrne winning the U13 Stars of the future event, she is the first girl to win a Stars of the Future event since it’s inception back in 1981, Grace followed with the National Primary School Championship making it 3 wins for Ballinabranna School out of 4 seasons. Her run to the final of the U21 RILSA National Championship was a great achievement for this young 11 year old. Grace was yet to follow with a final spot at the International Open when she qualified to play Laura Alves from Brazil in the final of the Intermediate event, even though she didn’t win on this occasion it was an amazing season for Grace and her school. Grace also received the Junior Player of the year award 2018
Fergal O’Briens visit to Ballinabranna in May 2017 was another milestone in the schools promotions and success in awareness of the importance of grass root participation in our sport.
All this success would not be possible without the help and support from Joe and everyone involved at the School and not forgetting the parents who fully support the sport and their children. Thanks to one and all at Ballinabranna National School in Carlow
We look forward to many more fantastic years and success with you at RILSA.