Letterkenny Educate Together National School was the setting yesterday for the launch of Active School Week 2019.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, was at Letterkenny Educate Together NS, which was a hive of activities and fun, for the launch.
Active School Week is a Department of Education and Skills’ initiative, supported by Healthy Ireland and co-ordinated from Mayo Education Centre.
The week is part of the Active School Flag programme, which aims to get more schools, more active, more often.
The particular focus of the 2019 Active School Week is the ‘Mile a Day Challenge’. This challenge encourages every class to commit to an activity that allows them to complete a mile every day during their Active School Week.
Donegal has the highest percentage of schools with Active School Flags of any county nationally.
Aine Fabisiak, LETNS Principal, acted as MC for the official launch before the Minister and other guests were taken on a tour of the school to see the various activities on offer, including soccer, Gaelic football, athletics, basketball, jiu jitsu, dance and gymnastics.
“The work you are doing in the school, there isn’t enough room in my head to take all of the information in,” Minister McHugh said.
“You are amazing and are doing a great job. You will build a better future here.
“It is incredible what is happening here. A great work is empowerment – you are unlocking the potential for your future lives.
“Donegal is way ahead in terms of participation and enthusiasm.”
Teacher Nakita Burke – the in-form Letterkenny AC runner – and Lisa McMonagle, the LETNS home-school liaison officer, who was last year’s ‘Operation Transformation Hero’, have helped lead out the various projects in the school.
Representatives from the school sports council said: “We all take part in many activities and we encourage everyone to be active outside of school hours. It improves self-esteem and helps concentration every day.
“We always try our best to get as many ideas as possible to help promote sports and activities.”
Among the guests on the day were Special Olympics star Patrick Quinlivan – who won seven medals at the recent World Games – World Transplant Games medallist Kieran Murray, Donegal senior footballer Nicole McLaughlin, Finn Harps’ Mark Coyle, St Eunan’s coach Jim Lynch, Kirsty Browne and Therese Laverty from Donegal Sports Partnership, Paul Butler and Michelle Dunleavy from the Mayo Education Centre, Sarah Marie McDevitt of Pinehill Studios and Shane Lundberg of Dragons Lair jiu jitsu in Letterkenny.