The Marian Mile

Picture by Ross Waldron.

Picture by Ross Waldron.

April 19th saw the culmination of Marian College’s participation in the ISPCC’s anti-bullying ‘Shield Campaign’ with an active fundraiser called, ‘The Marian Mile.’ The event was part of an ISPCC initiative which takes place annually and involves 200 schools nationwide.

Bullying was a key focus of their own Positive Mental Health Week at the beginning of March. The school’s deputy principal, Oonagh McCaul spoke to NewsFour about the school’s ethos around these important issues. “As school leaders it is our endeavour to educate the ‘whole’ child. That is why I believe in a holistic education that encompasses their physical and mental development as well. We understand that every child has a gift and it is our job to find it and encourage it.”

Marian College has indicated racism as an issue to raise awareness about and have made great efforts to include it as a focus point of their campaign. McCaul went on to talk about the concert that was held to mark the end of Positive Mental Health Week.

“There was so much talent, and students were given a platform to express these talents which will in turn awaken self-confidence and help to eliminate low self esteem, which is a huge problem for young people.”

She continued to praise the students, in particular the core group of five students who managed the project. “I just brought them together; they did all the work.

They had to approach all of the classes and look for volunteers to design posters, perform at the concert and all aspects of the project.”

The core group were Seán Redmond, Fiachra Byrne, Ben Breslin, Tyron Kirtzinger and two local lads who are no strangers to NewsFour – Brandon Caulfield and Jamie Purcell.

Caulfield and Purcell previously featured in NewsFour when they ran another charity event and wasted no time in getting involved with the Shield Campaign. Purcell told NewsFour, “Ms McCaul thought the run was a brilliant idea. All of the first and second-years got involved, even those who weren’t too keen on running. The charity brought everyone together in the end.”

A mile-long route was mapped out around the vicinity of the school and a few of the 4th year students volunteered to stand at various points to keep a watchful eye on proceedings. “We got some water and fruit for those taking part, to keep the energy levels up,” added Purcell.

When asked about competitiveness among the racing students he went on to divulge who the worst culprits were on this matter and they were not the ones wearing school uniforms.

“The teachers were racing against each other! Mr Byrne and Mr Drumm went head to head but Mr Byrne won out in the end while Mr Drumm got second place.”

Ms Kenny put the challenge to the students. “If any of them [the students] beat her they would get no homework,” noted Purcell, but the homework-free evening has eluded the students of Ms Kenny, as she steamed in ahead of them all.

Purcell himself made good time, completing the course in ten minutes. He told NewsFour that he would now be relaxing for the evening. Well deserved we must say.

As the sponsorship money is counted, Purcell is confident that they will reach their target of €400, saying, “It was a great day and a great achievement for the ISPCC.”

They eventually surpassed the target reaching €550. Well done lads.

By Maria Shields O’Kelly