Clonmel primary school principal Eoin Morrissey went to great lengths, over 26 miles in fact, to insire and encourage his pupils to be active.
The St.Mary's CBS principal in Irishtown took on his first marathon to coincide with the schools annual sports day running 87 laps of St. Mary’s sports field to complete his journeyl.
"It was pure madness" commented Eoin after getting over the line in an unusual marathon venue.
It took Eoin over five hours to complete the journey.He enjoyed the company of the pupils, staff and other friends who joined him along the way.
"I wasdelighted to finish it, it was a personal best on the day as it was the only marathon Ihave ever run" he said.
Eoin was inspired to motivate his pupils by watching a YouTube video of Chinese school principal, Mr. Zhang Pengfei, leading his pupils through a dance routine every morning to promote fitness and health.
Eoin was naturally apprehensive before the run. Normally, marathons are run through 26 miles of changing cityscapes. Running 26 miles in 87 laps of the same circuit brought greater psychological and physical burdens.
Eoin advised the children that ‘Whatever task you do, it’s giving it your best that counts’. He cautioned that being too focused on perfectionism ‘can stop us from getting going and starting a task’. He told his pupils to set their own personal goal and ‘Just go for it.’.
Eoin’s achievement has been noted nationally. St. Mary’s C.B.S. community have gained their first Active School Flag, a Department of Education and Skills initiative that recognises schools that ‘strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community’. To this end the children and staff have being participating in events such as active sports week, skipathons, dance workshops and the usual sporting activities such as hurling, football and athletics.
After his remarkable efforts, Eoin received a telephone call from the National Active School committee informing him that the school would be receiving a further accolade – the award of National Winner for an Active Flag event.
On receipt of the Active Flag , Eoin thanked his colleagues for their engagement with the activities that led to the award. He singled out Paul Curran, Amy Peters and Emmet Leahy for their hard work and enthusiasm that led to the successful outcome for the school. He also praised the child leaders who helped organise playground games and ensured that these activities went smoothly. He paid tribute to his predecessor Jimmy Ryan for promoting sport in the school during his time as principal.