Since Moyle Park was founded by a group of young Marist brothers in 1957, gaelic football has been part of the extra-curricular life in the college. Over the years, there have always been teachers on the staff whose passion for the game was seen in their willingness to train teams to participate in inter-schools competitions. That is still the case with teams now being trained by Michael Kenny (one of our P.E. teachers) assisted by Johnny Roebuck.
Adapting to the changing nature of school life, much of the gaelic training takes place at lunchtime, often using the great facility of the sports hall. This allows students to represent the college on the gaelic team and also participate outside school with their club team. Whilst Round Towers is our local GAA club and many of our players are members of the club, we also get students who are in other sports to be involved in gaelic games.
Our aim, in Moyle Park College, is to encourage as many football players as possible to take part in gaelic games, even if they are completely new to the sport. Through this sport so many life skills can be taught and through the friendships developed and sport enjoyed, student wellbeing is enhanced.
We strive to enter teams at all levels each year. Currently that is at 1st year, 2nd year, Under 16 and Under 18. We have achieved this consistently over the years.
In all sports, success is measured by competitions won and cups brought home. However, that can only be one team for any competition. By that measure all other teams are not successful. Our past pupil Jim Gavin has spoken regularly of a different measure of success when he has been back in the college with his friend Sam Maguire during the golden age of Dublin gaelic football. Jim speaks about the process of becoming the best person you can be through gaelic football or through any sport. We would like to think that we have been working as teachers over the years to achieve that with students in the college.
Past pupils would, on their return, speak of the friendships made, games won and lost, laughter at training, journeys undertaken and life lessons learned as their main memories of gaelic football in the college.
When we go around the classes at the start of each year to invite students to participate in the gaelic teams in Moyle Park we are encouraging them to take part in a sport which will give them much more than just the chance to win a competition. It is to be hoped that this may continue long into the future.