GAA Football

St John the Baptist Primary School cleaning up awards on all sporting fronts

St John The Baptist PS win the Cumann na mbunscoil President McAleese Cup winners two years in a row, pictured with Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey

OVER the last few weeks St John the Baptist PS, Belfast has won sports competitions on three different fronts. The boys and girls Cross-Country teams have qualified for the Belfast finals as they won and finished runners-up in their team events.

Clodagh Mervyn claimed the Individual West Belfast running crown a year to the day her sister won it in 2018.

The Basketball team currently sit top of the ‘Sport changes lives; Belfast PS Legacy League' and recently scooped the annual Andersonstown Tiger's Tournament for the third year running. The school also participates in football and netball.

Although it's the school's achievements in Gaelic Games which have resurfaced in the last few years, in the last four years the school has won 10 titles in hurling and Boys/Girls' Gaelic football.

Winning the ‘Raffo Cup' (Belfast PS championship) in 2017 for the first time in 13 years was special but the girls Gaelic football squad, formed just four years ago, retaining the ‘President's Cup' this year was just as significant.

The school has had numerous county players in both codes come through such as Brendan Herron, Karl Stewart, Aodhan Gallagher, Andy McClean, the McGourtys and current P6 teacher Mickey Pollock.

The school will be one of many targeted by ‘Gaelfast' [an Antrim GAA scheme designed to increase participation levels in the city and futher afield] and has recently been labelled a ‘Five-star GAA Centre'.

Teacher and St Gall's footballer Mickey Pollock said: “[‘Gaelfast' head] Paul Donnelly's model aims to target grassroots GAA. St John the Baptist PS is one of the best schools in the county for Gaelic Games and for sports participation in general.

“The talent in our parish has always been of a high standard and at ‘SJB' we nurture that talent with the goal of playing our part in the development of Belfast Gaelic Games.

“Paul has already shown promise with he and his team's positivity towards our school and others, but ultimately I feel it's up to the teachers in every school to drive GAA and make it an important part of their academic life.”

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