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Our emphasis is on students as individuals. Students' needs are catered for as flexibly as possible using our wide variety of teaching techniques and learning resources.
Front building of Saint Paul's Academy with quote stating: Our emphasis is on students as individuals. Students' needs are catered for as flexibly as possible using our wide variety of teaching techniques and learning resources.

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English Schools’ National Champion – Nana Gyedu!!

On Thursday 6th July, year 9 pupil Nana Gyedu, travelled to Birmingham's Alexander Stadium along with the rest of the London athletics team, which included her twin brother Atta, as well as year 9 pupil Tunde Ajidagba and year 8 pupil Prince Mulamba, to the English Schools' Athletics Championships.

The pupils had been selected to attend the prestigious annual athletics event after successfully achieving English Schools' entry standards in 100m (Prince) , 200m (Atta) and Shot (Nana and Tunde), throughout this years summer athletics season. 

The event, held across two days, comprises of the top young athletes in the country, representing their counties and competing to be crowned English Schools' Athletics Champion. 

St. Paul's had the second highest number of entries in to team London which is a fantastic achievement in itself and a credit to both the pupils hard work and the support they continually receive from our outstanding PE department. All of the athletes from St. Paul's were fantastic ambassadors for the school and were exceptional throughout the weekend, both in performances and attitude. 

Nana went in to the competitions with her site firmly set on gold. Having just a few weeks prior to the event, achieved a new personal best throw of 13.14 meters, her confidence was high. However Nana faced tough competition from other competitors, in particular from Team Mersey, and she had to pull out all of the stops to ensure she came home with the gold she was aiming for. 

We are absolutely delighted that Nana managed to do just that, and with a new personal best throw of 13.86m, Nana secured her victory and was crowned English Schools' champion in junior shot. Nana is the first pupil in St. Paul's academy history to achieve such an accolade in athletics. A huge congratulations to Nana for this outstanding achievement.

 

St Paul’s U14 Girls’ visit Donegal

A party of 20 Year 7 – 9 students and 3 staff members, Joe Meade, Joel Weston and Eadaoin Devine travelled to the hills of Donegal for their Annual Girls’ Gaelic Football tour in association with Dulwich Harps. With an early departure from St Paul’s Academy, the girls were eagerly anticipating their trip to the Glenties.

Upon arrival at Belfast International Airport we were kindly by our Martin Mc Cabe our coach driver for the tour. Our first adventure for the day began at ‘We are Vertigo’ one of Europe’s largest trampolining parks and high ropes activity centres. The girls had a blast as they bounced and hopped their way around the trampolines, for many this was a first time experience and needless to say it was enjoyed by all, staff and students alike. After a quick pit stop, the girls travelled through picturesque country side before arriving at out fabulous host club, Glenties, organised by the current Donegal Ladies Midfielder, Aoife Mc Donnell. Students and teachers rested upon their arrival and got to know their host families and new surroundings.

Friday began with a sightseeing trip round local beaches, Maghery and Narin, taking in some breath taking waterfalls and amazing landscape on the way. Pupils and teachers were in awe of the gorgeous scenery and many selfies were taken along the way! On Friday evening, we took on our host club, Glenties in a friendly. Considering this was our first 15 aside game all year, the St Paul’s girls did a fantastic job. The first 10 minutes saw a nervous team start the game, however, come half time the girls had settled in to their stride. Even though the host team were in front, superb performances from Maria Borgues in goal, Sheilla Idehen, Chancess Mwanbiele and Shana Ajufo kept the dream alive. With 3 goals scored in the second half, the comeback was well and truly on. After a superb display of football from both sides, played with great sportsmanship, the Glenties came out on top. Our girls fought with grit and determination and many spectators commented on their fantastic fitness and skill level. A happy day all round, topped off by an evening of entertainment with our host families, with a visiting Magician to the host club, Glenties! Our girls got involved properly, many up on stage for the evening, amidst the tricks! Well done!

Saturday saw us take on a neighbouring club, Glencolmcille, and after yesterday’s performance, our girls were more than up for the game! We started strong and luckily stayed on top throughout! Again, excellent performances were displayed throughout the pitch, however, Tarila Yinfaowei, Faith Shoyomi and Antonia Adu were exceptional on the field of play. A fantastic welcome was had from all the Naomh Columba club, refreshments served in the local village and plenty of time for both teams to interact! It was a busy day, with a guided tour round Slieve League Cliffs, taking in the local sights. It is safe to say our girls had never seen anything like this before so many thoroughly enjoyed their tour! The evening was finished off with a trip to Waterworld in Bundoran and a trip to the amusements- no better way to end a fantastic day!

On Sunday morning, we made the journey to Termon, another local club within the beautiful Donegal hills. We found ourselves up against a very experienced team indeed, consisting of some very skilful Donegal county players. The opposition were amazed at some of the saves made from our Brazilian goalkeeper, Maria Borgues who only took up the game of Gaelic football a few months previous to the trip. They also commented on our mid field duo and our hard work ethic all-round the pitch. Our team put up a strong battle, however, there was no debating the fact Termon were too strong for the St Paul’s Academy girls. We were extremely gracious in defeat and after light refreshments in the club house, we stayed to cheer on the Termon Senior Ladies team play St Nall’s in a league game for the afternoon. A fantastic morning, with another very welcoming club.

Luckily, a short journey from Termon brought us to the scenic area of the Glenveagh National Park. Here, we rented bikes for the afternoon and cycled 8km around the lake and through to Glenveagh Castle. The weather conditions were ideal as we cycled our way up the hilly pathway taking in the delightful scenery around us. A fantastic experience for all the group, even our bus man joined in on the antics! On Sunday evening, we had a catch up with our Glenties families and had an evening of fun and laughter in the local sports hall. Faith Shoyomi entertained the crowd with a rap she had composed about her stay in Ireland – this certainly went down a treat for the locals!! We presented our host club with a plaque to show our thanks and appreciation for all their hard work, effort and generosity throughout the trip. It is safe to say a new friendship and bond has been formed with the Glenties and St Paul’s Academy.

Massive thanks must go to all the host families, (Rosaleen Doherty, Orlagh Regan, Imelda Gallagher, Maria MacIness, Teresa McDonnell, just to name a few) who gave up their time so generously, shared their homes and treated us like royalty on our stay! We are forever grateful and have made memories which will last a lifetime! Many thanks to Bernadette and Brendan Devine who came to visit the girls numerous times throughout the trip, supplying endless goodies and treats, you are too kind! Special thanks to Berndadette Carr and Terence Cunnea from Glencolmcille for their help organising fixtures, Kieran Gallagher from Termon in the run up to the trip, but in particular Aoife Mc Donnell, who instigated, arranged and planned the accommodation, solely on your side, we are really grateful! 

Many thanks to Pat Winston, for his unwavering support each and every year in the run up to the tour, we are very grateful. The trip would not have been a success without the fantastic help of our coaches, from setting up warms up, organising equipment and providing lots of laughs along the way.  

The girls have had an unbelievable experience, action packed from start to finish. It has been a learning curve in many ways, a new cultural experience for many but most importantly we have formed many new friendships along the way. The girls have been an absolute joy to work with, committed, driven, dedicated and have shown massive improvement from the beginning of the year. Each club we visited commented on their superb behaviour and attitude both on and off the pitch.  Well done St Paul’s Academy, you have been fantastic ambassadors for the school and club!

 

 

Carol Duffy awarded England Netball: London and South East Netball Teacher of the Year 2017

In 2013, Miss Duffy helped to set up and establish Netball at St Paul’s Academy.  Each week up to 70 plus girls across Years 7 to 10 participate in regular netball training sessions with Miss Duffy delivering three plus netball training sessions a week for pupils. Acutely aware of the lack of competitive fixtures available for her girls to play and the lack of structure for secondary school Netball in Greenwich, Miss Duffy made it her mission to establish a sustainable league.  Miss Duffy’s vision was to enhance participation in Netball for all girls in Years 7 to 11 across schools in Greenwich.  Miss Duffy aimed to set up a league which would allow girls to engage in regular, competitive netball fixtures, in turn developing the levels of skill and understanding of the games as well as building meaningful and lasting relationships between Greenwich Schools. 

Over the last 3 years the Greenwich Schools’ Netball League has continued to grow and within the last 12 months has seen the involvement of 8 secondary schools in regular netball fixtures across the borough each week.  A further 3 schools to date will also join the league next year.  Working closely with staff across all schools, Miss Duffy’s passion and enthusiasm for netball has helped to hugely enhance its status and levels of participation throughout Greenwich Borough.  Within the last 12 months Miss Duffy has also been working extremely closely with members of Greenwich Borough Sports Development department to help develop netball in Greenwich even further. As a result three Year 9 girls have also been afforded the opportunity to represent Greenwich Borough in the London Youth Games in July at Crystal Palace.

Miss Duffy has been the driving force of Netball in Greenwich and as a result has received this England Netball, London and South East Netball Teacher of the Year Award in recognition of all of her achievements.  Well done Miss Duffy, keep up the great work!

South London Boys Secure Title Number 5 at Féile Peile na nÓg Competition

On Sunday 25th June, the South London under 14 Boys Gaelic football team captured their 5th Féile Peile na nÓg title in seven years at a sun drenched St Tiernach's Park in Clones. On route to the final, the boys recorded victories over the host club Bailieborough Shamrocks (Cavan), Magheracloone (Monaghan), NaGaeil (Kerry), Naomh Padraig (Donegal) and Clontarf (Dublin).

Going into the final the boys’ were confident but knew they would have to produce something very special if they were to defeat a very strong and skilful St Gabriel’s side from Galway. With 3 minutes remaining on the clock, South London found themselves playing with one player less. More significantly, they were a point behind and desperately trying to stop St Gabriel’s from increasing their slender lead. However, the boys have displayed all year that they do not know how to quit. The boys had it ingrained into their brains not to give up if they were behind or let up if they were in front. After some heroic defending from Nathan Donnelly, the boys found an equalising score through the boot of Armani Orji before going in front with a Michael Akala point. It was then St Gabriel’s turn to try and rescue the game and they threw everything at the South London team bar the kitchen sink. The pressure on the defence was immense and it was clear that any mistake would be punished by the skilful St Gabriel’s players. St Gabriel’s committed almost every player forward to equalise but when the ball was eventually turned-over, south London had the opportunity to counter attack at speed and put the game to bed.  Again, man of the match Armani Orji found himself in acres of open space to run into and struck another point to extend the lead to two with only a matter of seconds left to play. It felt like an eternity for the final whistle to sound but when it did there were wild celebrations on the pitch with mentors and players overjoyed. Many years of hard work and dedication paying-off in just one glorious afternoon.

Féile Peile na nÓg Record

  • 2007: Division 5 Quarter Final
  • 2008: Division 5 Final Losers
  • 2009: Division 5 Semi Final
  • 2010: Division 5 Winners
  • 2011: Division 4 Semi Final
  • 2012: Division 4 Quarter Final
  • 2013: Division 4 Winners
  • 2014: Division 3 Winners
  • 2015: Division 3 Semi Final
  • 2016: Division 3 Winners
  • 2017: Division 2 Winners

The victorious team consisted of sixteen players from Dulwich Harps, two players from Round Towers and two players from Thomas McCurtain’s. The pane of players have worked very hard since the first training session at the end of February. Congratulations to the players, the management team of Michael Donnelly, Ciaran Harrington, Michael Maher and Brian Smyth. We also acknowledge the unstinting support to both the coaches and players from Tim O’Sullivan and Danny O’ Donovan throughout the competition.

The South London team were delighted to be joined by Tom Denning, Chair of Dulwich Harps GFC for the competition. It was Tom’s vision and drive that ensured South London were allowed to enter the Feile for the first time in 2007. Our record over the last seven years has been magnificent!

Patrick Winston 

The summer season for the 2016-17 academic year has seen success

The summer season for the 2016-17 academic year has seen success after success for the pupils of St. Paul’s. Back in May, the annual Cambridge Cup, held at Sutcliffe Park, was won by all of our teams. Both the year 7 and 8 boys’ and girls’ athletics teams were victorious over Thomas Tallis, Colfes, Blackheath High, Corelli College, Eltham College and Eltham Hill, seeing 1st place finishes in 100m, 200m, relay, 800m, Long Jump and Shot.

Following on from this, pupils in years 7 - 9 trialled for the Greenwich Borough athletics team. From the twenty pupils that attended the trials, sixteen were chosen to attend the Year 7 & 8 London Schools Athletics Championships at Mile End on Tuesday 13th June. On the day, we had lots of success with first place finishes in 100m Girls final by Marian Owusuwaah and 100m Boys final by Prince Mulamba, as well as firsts in year 7 boys’, year 8 boys’ and year 8 girls’ relays.

For the main London Schools Athletics Championships at Battersea on Saturday 10th June, eight pupils were selected to represent Greenwich Borough. Marian Owusuwaah for 100m, Rebecca Maddy for 200m, Grace Mbakam-Nitcheu for High Jump, Nana Gyedu for Shot and Discus, Atta Gyedu for 200m, Shay Francois for Long Jump, Prince Mulamba for 100m and Tunde Ajidagba for Shot. All of the pupils were outstanding ambassadors for the school and the borough on the day and overall as a team Greenwich Borough placed second in London, which is a fantastic achievement! As a result of their phenomenal performances on the day, four of these pupils were selected to represent London at the upcoming English Schools’ Athletics Championships held in Gateshead, Birmingham. Nana, Tunde, Atta and Prince, will travel to Birmingham on Friday 7th July for the weekend with the team - we wish them every success in their events.

The final competition of the summer season will be on Monday 3rd July, where the year 7, 8 & 9 girls’ athletics teams will go up against local schools from the borough of Greenwich at Erith Stadium. We hope that we can repeat the success of last year and bring home some more trophies!!

Another fantastic summer of athletics for the pupils – well done to all those involved!

Miss Stone

 

SPA Netballers record most successful season to date

With the level of talent among our SPA netballers on the rise as each season passes, this year saw our four teams across Years 7 to 10 collectively record our most successful netball season to date.  Out of a possible 7 trophies up for grabs across all Greenwich School’s competitions, St Paul’s Academy netball teams have managed to secure 5 of those; a truly remarkable achievement.

 

Year 7

Our Year 7’s have continued to grow and develop as the season has progressed.  This season our strong squad of talented players have recorded wins over Eltham Hill, St Thomas More, Thomas Tallis, The John Roan, St Mary Magdalene and Harris Academy Greenwich in both league and tournament competitions.  Commitment and hard work during all training sessions has ensured that the girls have built a strong working relationship and team ethos.  Such qualities have helped all of the girls develop their individual skill levels as well as their ability to successfully gel as a team.  Our Year 7 team finished runners-up in the London Youth Games qualifying tournament, where they suffered a narrow defeat to Blackheath High School.  This is something which the girls are working extremely hard on ensuring doesn’t happen again next season!  In their first season representing SPA, the girls have also competed in the U12 Kent Netball competition where they performed exceptionally well.  To round off a magnificent season, our Year 7 girls were crowned Greenwich Schools’ Netball League and Tournament Champions!  Well done girls on a fantastic start to your St Paul’s Academy Netball careers.  We look forward to hearing about many more successes in the future.

 

Year 8

Our Year 8 Netball team got their season off to a great start, recording convincing wins over Thomas Tallis (10-1) and The Joan Roan (14-0) in the Greenwich Schools’ League competition.  Continuing to develop and noticeably grow in confidence as the season progressed, our Year 8 team competed in the U13 Kent Schools Competition.  Unfortunately losing some key players at crucial points during the season meant that the girls suffered uncharacteristic defeats to Eltham Hill and Blackheath High School.  As a result the girls finished runners-up in their league competition, missing out on being crowned champions to Eltham Hill by a single point!  The girls have shown great team spirit and determination in setting themselves a goal of winning both the league and tournament next season.  We wish them good luck and are confident that as a team they will achieve their goal.

 

Year 9

Following extremely successful seasons in both Year 7 and 8, our Year 9 Netball team entered this season quietly confident of scooping up some trophies.  Building upon the tremendous amount of hard work put in place during previous seasons, the girls got their season off to a flying start recording a 23 – 5 win over Thomas Tallis and a 29 – 0 victory over The John Roan.  Continuing to develop strong and slick set plays which seamlessly outwit their opponents have been a pleasure to witness and is testament to this hardworking and determined team.  With strengths across all areas of the court, over the last 3 years the girls have used their physical talents combined with their magnificent team spirit and work ethic to develop into a team who have proved extremely hard to beat within the Greenwich Borough.  With more schools such as Blackheath High School and Harris Academy Greenwich joining the league this year it provided the girls with some healthy competition.  This resulted in the girls working even harder and developing an even stronger will to win.  Finishing off their season the girls have once again remained undefeated within the Greenwich Borough for the third year in a row!; a truly outstanding achievement.  In all league matches this season the girls have scored an impressive 85 goals and conceded a mere 9!

6 girls, along with 3 Year 7 and 3 Year 8 players have also been selected to train as part of the Greenwich Netball Squad in preparation for the London Youth Games at Crystal Palace in July.  We wish all the girls good luck during the final selection process.

 

Year 10

Our Year 10 team is small in numbers but mighty in effort and team spirit.  With a desire to perform to the best of their ability and represent SPA with pride, with the assistance of some Year 9 players our Year 10 team did just that.  This season the girls have recorded victories over Eltham Hill and The John Roan.  To top off a truly remarkable season, in their final league fixture the girls recorded an historic victory over Blackheath High School to be crowned Greenwich Schools’ Netball League Champions.  This is a feat which no SPA team has ever managed and one which we are very proud of!  Well done girls, we are extremely proud of your achievements.  Keep up the great work as you enter Year 11 and your final season at SPA.

Final congratulations must also go to our Year 10 player, Tareh who this year received a Jack Petchey Achievement Award in recognition of her dedication to netball over the course of the last number of seasons; both as a player and a volunteer.  Tareh has used her Jack Petchy Award prizemoney to help purchase a much needed new netball kit for our teams across Years 7 to 10.  To reward all of the girls for their hard work and commitment to netball throughout the season, the girls are looking forward to enjoying a team meal before breaking up for the summer holidays.  Well done girls on a tremendous season and we look forward to hearing about many more successes in your future sporting endeavours.

Charlton Athletic Community Trust Raising the Bar Project

Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) have been running a Raising the Bar programme alongside the University of Greenwich to raise students aspirations of attending university once they leave school.  The programme was run with a group of 14 Year 10 vCert Sport students at St Paul’s Academy over the course of ten weeks.  To mark the end of the project students were afforded the opportunity to attend the University of Greenwich, Medway Campus to experience university life first hand.

Miss Duffy, PE Teacher at St. Paul's Academy said "Following participation in CACT's, through visiting the University of Greenwich students were able to gain insight into the university's Sports Science course, speak with current students about their university experience as well as engage in practical sports science workshops and fitness testing."

"Being afforded such an opportunity has been a fantastic and invaluable experience for our students.  It has enabled them to experience third level education first hand and as a result helped to raise their own personal aspirations and levels of motivation."

"Students were able to put the theory they have been learning as a result of their own current course of study into practice which has made their learning much more relevant and vocational based."

"This is fantastic to see and an experience that I as a teacher am very grateful that my students have been afforded.  Such experiences simply illustrate the significant impact that extended learning opportunities beyond the realms of the classroom can have for students."

The day was a success with Year 10 student Jesil, saying "I hadn’t thought much about university before today but after this trip I definitely want to go to university and would like to become a physiotherapist."

Due to the success of this initiative we very much hope to continue to build upon our successful working relationship with CACT in delivering this programme to many more cohorts of students during subsequent academic years.

SportInspired Festival 2017 Greenwich Active Learning Programme

Working in collaboration with the charity organisation SportInspired, Friday 12th May saw St Paul's Academy host the 2017 SportInspired Festival once again.  This festival was in aid of national 'Give and Gain Week' and supported by Lloyds Banking Group who sent along 60 of their employees to volunteer at the event.  This event was specifically targeted towards those pupils in Years 3 to 8 within the Greenwich Borough who have a special educational need.  The aim of the festival was to help instil a love of sport and physical activity in these pupils who may not ordinarily be given the opportunity to engage in such activities as often as they would like.

Utilising our top-class sporting facilities at St Paul’s we were able to deliver 6 different physical activity sessions for our 150 plus students in Years 3 to 8 who attended the festival.  The children had the opportunity to experience a range of new and engaging activities which included Tri-Golf, Boccia, New Age Kurling, Dodgeball, Athletics, Dance and Polybat.  Participation in what were new sporting activities for a number of the students will hopefully help to further encourage students to continue participation in sport and physical activity in the future.

The enjoyment felt by each of the students who participated in the festival was clearly evident to see throughout the duration of the day.  Pupils enjoyed learning new skills, making new friends as well as getting the opportunity to work alongside our numerous Lloyds Bank volunteers and Sports Leaders.  Thomas, a Year 7 student from St Paul’s Academy said:

‘I don’t usually like sports but today has been really fun.  My favourite sport was the New Age Kurling’.

One of the greatest highlights of the day was the unbelievable work carried out by each and every one of the 40 St Paul's Academy Sports Leaders throughout the entire duration of the day.  All of the external companies who were in school as well as all of the other staff from our neighbouring schools who attended the event simply could not praise our Sports Leaders highly enough.  One Lloyds Bank employee commented saying,

‘It was excellent, everyone was great and I was really impressed with the Sports Leaders’.

It is definitely safe to say that our young leaders more than stepped up to the mark, were true leaders in every sense of the word and were simply awesome across the board!  This is testament to the hard work and dedication shown by our sports leaders over the last number of months working extremely hard to prepare themselves for this event.  As well as ensuring that all of the kids participating in the event had an enjoyable day, all of our Sports Leaders have gained immensely from the event which is something we also set out to ensure.  All of the Sports Leaders notably grew in confidence as the day progressed as well as enhancing their leadership, teamwork and communication skills to name but a few.  One motto which our Sports Leaders believe in at St Paul’s is that ‘Great leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders’ and leaders in their own right is exactly what our students became on the day.  Providing our students with such valuable and worthwhile opportunities is crucial to ensuring their holistic development.

Reflecting on their experiences of the festival, our SPA Sports Leaders expressed how during the day there was ‘a great aura around the room’ (Verona, Year 11)

‘This event has really taught me how to be a leader.  It has been character building’ (Michael, Year 9).

‘The kids are very enthusiastic and inspirational’ (Dan, Year 11).

‘Today has been a joyous day and I never thought I would meet such wonderful young people’ (Nana, Year 9).

‘It’s great to see that my efforts are making people happy, the day is really coming together’ (Stephen, Year 11).

Students who participated in the event from schools throughout the Borough of Greenwich also liked how they got the chance to work as a team and learn to play new sports on the day.  One Greenwich primary school teacher commenting on their overall experience of the festival said:

‘Thank you so much for inviting our school to take part in the festival, the children absolutely loved it and it was organised perfectly! The best school sport event I have ever been to! The team you had were amazing and so supportive of the children the whole time. Just a fantastic day and one they will remember. Thanks again, already looking forward to next year!’

Taking the opportunity to come along and see our festival on the day, our Vice Principal, Ms Malone commented:

‘It’s just fantastic!  Listening you can just hear the sound of pure joy around.  So many people helping too.  I look at these volunteers (Sports Leaders) and I mean they look like members of staff!’

Such positive feedback simply reflects the overwhelming success of the day which was visibly enjoyed by all parties involved, be that pupils, staff or volunteers.  As a school, St Paul’s would like to thank SportInspired for their continued help and support, our numerous sports providers who assisted in the delivery of our many sports, all of the Greenwich schools who participated on the day as well as all the employees from Lloyds Bank who helped to make the day truly memorable.

We look forward to continuing to build upon such positive working relationships as well as ensuring that a legacy for inclusive engagement in sport and physical activity for all is achieved.  An event such as the SportInspired Festival simply illustrates the power of sport!

 

Miss Duffy

 

Outdoor summer season competitions

With a successful winter athletics season coming to an end, the St. Paul's Academy athletics teams have now embarked on their outdoor summer season competitions. Pupils in the year 7 & 8 teams kicked off the season in tremendous fashion at the annual Cambridge Cup, held at Sutcliffe Park. 

Both the year 7 & 8 girls' teams took home gold after battling against local Greenwich schools Thomas Tallis, Colfes, Corelli College, Blackheath High and Eltham Hill. One week later and the same success was repeated for the year 7 & 8 boys' teams, who claimed gold against Colfes, Thomas Tallis, Eltham College, Corelli and St. Mary Magdalene. 

4 new trophies in one week for the athletics teams is a fantastic achievement!! Well done to all of the pupils involved - let's hope this success continues throughout the summer season. 

Miss Stone 

A Feast of Youth Gaelic Football

St Paul’s Academy in conjunction with Dulwich Harps GFC recently hosted a fantastic Gaelic Football Festival at the Academy, with Cavan Gaels, Killeavy GFC from Co.Armagh and The Downs GFC from Co. Westmeath, Thomas McCurtains GFC from London and Dulwich Harps in attendance. With thirty games of football played in the group stages and four exciting finals it was a pleasure to see so many entertaining matches played with great sportsmanship and competitiveness.

Dulwich Harps 1 girls’ made the Plate final and came out victorious over Cavan Gaels 2. Killeavy 1 narrowly missed out on the cup final with Cavan Gaels 1 taking the trophy with a one point lead as the final whistle blew. The boys’ plate final saw Thomas Mc Curtains take on the Downs and after a thrilling game, Thomas Mc Curtains, the visiting London team came out the winners! The eagerly anticipated cup final between Dulwich Harps and Killeavy 1 was a real delight for spectators with an excellent display of football from both teams. After full time the scores were level and unfortunately for one team the winner would be decided from a golden score. Both teams worked tremendously hard and fought for every ball, however, Dulwich finished lucky winners with Leslie Ariku scoring the final goal to them the lead and the winners’ trophy!

After plate, cup and medal presentations were made, all players, coaches and managers enjoyed a two-course sit down meal thanks to the magnificent restaurant staff at St Paul’s Academy.

Teams travelled back to Our Lady of the Annunciation Church, Addiscombe to celebrate Mass before an evening of entertainment, fun and laughter in the adjoining church hall. Food and refreshments were served throughout the evening, and thanks must go to our table quiz host, Niall Mc Cann, Dulwich Harps.

All in all, it was a most enjoyable weekend of Gaelic Football, with 140+ players, managers, coaches and supporters travelling from Ireland and London to take part in this fantastic event. Many visiting teams commented on the fantastic behaviour of all players’ involved showing great sportsmanship and fair play throughout the day. Congratulations to all players, coaches and managers who competed. 

Many thanks to everyone who supported the event and for those who assisted in any way, referees (Eddie Naughton & Catherine Burke), coaches, managers, hospitality team and our restaurant staff.  We are very grateful for the individuals who helped facilitate the event, for giving up your time and for the preparation in the run up to ensure the weekend was a success.

Special thanks to Tom Denning, Chairman of Dulwich Harps GFC, for his support of the Festival and to Michael Maher for the fantastic organisation behind the scenes of the 2017 International Festival. A wonderful weekend, superb tournament and a perfect opportunity to catch up with familiar faces and new friends from our visiting teams.

Eadaoin Devine

May 2017