St. Patrick's Grammar School

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Sports

We in St. Patrick's believe that the extra-curricular activities play a very important role in the development of our students. We encourage all students to take part in as many after-school activities as possible. It is fortunate that many members of staff other than P.E specialists are willing to show such as interest and we are able to offer coaching in all the activities indicated.

It is a sign of any good school that extra-curricular activities should flourish. Students who join wholeheartedly in the wider life of the school rarely present problems and usually make excellent academic progress.

INDOOR:

The main indoor area is a gymnasium 21m x 12m. Around the perimeter there are wall bars, beams, and ropes. There are floor markings for basketball, volleyball and badminton.

One small gym at the front of the school which is marked for basketball only.
One large handball court 18m x 8m, which can also be used for volleyball and badminton.
One squash court.
One fitness suite with resistance equipment and 2 Concept II rowing machines and 2 bicycles.
3 Changing rooms capable of accommodating 26+ pupils at any time.

OUTDOOR:

A large enclosed tarmac area marked for 2 tennis courts. Four grass Gaelic pitches which includes:

1 Prunty Senior Field
1 Prunty Junior Field
2 junior Fields (Railway pitches)
One soccer all weather pitch.
Two long jump pits with run up.
One-shot putt /discus circle.
1 mile cross-country track around the perimeter of the playing fields.

Gaelic football in St Patrick’s

Gaelic football is the main extra–curricular sport in St Patrick’s as most students come from a predominately GAA sporting tradition. The school is steeped in GAA colleges football history and contained in the school is the original Mac Rory Cup dating back to the beginning of the last century.

Teams participate from years 8 – 14, all teams playing grade ‘A’ BT sponsored Ulster College’s competitions. Competitions include at year 13-14 Mc Cormack and MacRory Cups; at year 12 Rannafast Cup; at year 11 Brock Cup; at year 10 Corn na nOg; at year 9 Dalton and Nannery Cups and in year 8 the Armagh league.

Training for the senior MacRory cup squad is normally 2 days mid week after school and a Saturday morning including school holidays. The other squads normally train 2 afternoons per week, training taking place from 3.45 – 4.45/5pm.

Games are played mid-week and on Saturday mornings normally with some games now played under floodlight in winter evenings.

There is All-star college football awards given out to the best 15 players in the MacRory, MacLarnon and Nolan Cup competitions every year and the school has a proud tradition of having players selected on these teams in both Football and Hurling.

The school has a proud tradition of past and present pupils representing their county teams at various under age and senior levels some going on to win All-Ireland medals in recent years with both Armagh and Tyrone. The school also has an excellent tradition of pupils representing the Ireland Compromised Rules teams that play for the Cormac Mc Anallen Cup named in honour of one the schools illustrious past pupils.

Extra–curricular Gaelic football teams allows every year approximately 170 pupils the opportunity to represent the school in competition and we are very proud of our past and present pupils who wear the green and red.

Hurling in St Patrick’s

Hurling in St. Patrick’s takes place in all year groups and all competitions organised by Ulster Colleges GAA are entered. In recent years there has been increased participation in Hurling across all age groups, and this has resulted in some success in various competitions.

Local clubs feeding into school teams include Armagh Cuchulainns, Derrynoose, Keady, Middletown and Lurgan Sean Tracey’s. We also receive coaching support from the Armagh County Board-mainly directed at Year 8’s where we encourage players not yet registered with clubs to participate.

Many of our students are on Co. Armagh Hurling Development Squads as well as significant representation on Co. Armagh Minor Teams. Teachers involved in Hurling in the school are Mr. Paul McCormack and Mr. Connor Devlin.

The SportZone Initiative

In November 2010 the school launched the lunchtime sportZone programme with the assistance of the Big Lottery. TG4 the Irish television company was there to assist with the launch and at the same time promoting its handball one wall initiative. The main aim of SportZone is to encourage pupils to use their break and lunch times to participate in some from of recreational activity. Teachers and school staff give up their break and lunch times to supervise a structured programme of activities which year groups can take part in.

Activities include dodgeball; basketball; tabletennis; handball; soccer; volleyball; squash; circuit training and badminton. On average at dinnertime the sportZone could be catering for up to a ¼ of the student population, all ages and abilities playing together in a relaxing, safe and fun environment. After the initial 6 weeks of the programme over 2300 pupils had participated in some form of recreational activity.

Swimming

In recent years there has been an increase in interest and enthusiasm for swimming among the pupils of St. Patrick’s. St. Patrick’s works closely with the Ulster Schools Swimming Association, providing the opportunity for club and non club swimmers to participate in competitions. All age groups are catered for and this has resulted in some considerable success. Teachers involved in swimming in the school include Mrs K Mc Laughlin and Mrs E Murphy.