I am delighted to announce our 42nd annual Festival Of Sport. Our Festival of Sport was founded in 1978 by the late deputy headmaster Chris Cook. In honour of the late Chris Cook, teams now compete for the Chris Cook Plate for best performing Girl’s team and The Chris Cook Plate for best performing boys team.

Sport is an important aspect of school life for pupils at St Michael’s. We actively encourage our pupils to participate in team sports as we understand the social skills children gain like compromising and listening to others when working as part of a team. In addition to their Physical Education classes, we offer our pupils the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities where there are clubs available for all children at varying levels of skill.

I am looking forward to welcoming 192 pupils and teachers who are travelling to participate in the festival. This year’s festival will take place Wednesday the 11th of March until Saturday the 14th of March. The boys will compete in a football tournament, indoor hockey tournament and a Rugby 7’s tournament. The girls will compete in Netball and indoor hockey. There is plenty to play for in the Festival, with the following awards up for grabs:

  • Allen Plate (awarded for the indoor hockey tournament)
  • Travtel Trophy (awarded to winners of the girls netball tournament)
  • Cook Cup (awarded to the winners of the boys football tournament)
  • Travtel Salver (awarded to the winners for the winners of the main boys rugby tournament)
  • St Michael’s Plate (awarded for the plate competition)

I am also delighted to announce that the McAviney Shield will be awarded for the first time in this year’s Festival of Sport.

The Shield has been created in order to recognise the contributions that Mr Lenny McAviney has made to the 7’s tournament since his first festival, 31 years ago, when he brought a team from De La Salle to compete against St Michael’s.

Since joining St Michael’s in 1989, Mr McAviney has coached the 7 a side team. In March 2012, he took over managing the tournament from the tournament’s founder, Chris Cook, who retired in July 2011. Over the years Lenny has not only enjoyed the sport, but taken the job of hosting the traveling teachers with aplomb. He has made many lasting personal friendships and strong links between the Festival of Sport schools in the process.

This year will be Mr. McAviney’s final Festival of Sport Rugby 7’s tournament, as he retires at the end of this Academic Year. The McAviney Shield will be awarded every year at the Festival of Sport Rugby 7’s tournament to the top try scorer of the tournament.

I would like to take a moment to remind everyone that the importance lies in participation. I hope all the children participating have fun during the tournament and find the opportunity to build new friendships and learn something new.