Willow Park Fr. Gavin Rugby Festival 2022

Willow Park Fr. Gavin Rugby Festival 2022

Following a two year absence the much renowned Willow Park Fr. Gavin Rugby Festival resumed this weekend. The school was delighted to be invited to continue its participation in the event. It provided an opportunity for our boys to compete against teams from all over Ireland, including clubs such as Coleraine, Ennis, Tullamore, UL Bohs, Seapoint, Presentation Bray, Stradbrook and Lansdowne. Our teams also played against our fellow AIJS schools, St. Conleth's, St.Mary's, CBC Monkstown, CUS, St. Gerard's and of course Willow Park.

St. Michael's entered four teams in this year's festival and the excitement levels were building in the week leading up to it. Thankfully we were blessed with fantastic weather on the day and each team enjoyed over four hours of superb rugby fun in the sun. It wasn't all about the rugby however and there were excited queues for ice-cream, crepes and refreshingly cool water. The Sixth Form Willow Park helpers also distributed trays of fresh fruit and freshly baked treats for all of the teams participating.

The format of the competition ensured that all teams found their level during the morning or afternoon session, This was aimed at ensuring all teams enjoyed success but also more challenging matches where the result may not have gone their way. The boys all performed admirably in their groups and displayed great team spirit, regardless of whether they were winning or losing. Their good behaviour and excellent sportsmanship were also a common theme and a memorable day was enjoyed by all. We owe special thanks to our own four coaches Adam, Hugo, Mark and Tommy who managed the teams on the day. They were great role models for our boys and took fantastic care of their boys throughout the day. Indeed, it was a sign of the success and longevity of the festival that the coaches had themselves all participated in it when they were pupils in the Junior School.

Afterwards, all of the teams were invited to the awards ceremony on the conclusion of the final round of games. Andy Farrell, the Irish Senior Rugby Coach was present to award the three trophies which were all decided on based on the sportsmanship exhibited throughout the day. One of our teams, the Argentina team, were fortunate enough to have their team picture taken with Andy Farrell during the course of the day. The smiles in the photo tell their own story! Individual water bottles and participation medals were also distributed to all teams who participated on the day.

The results of these matches will fade away in time for all teams. However, the memories and experiences enjoyed by each of the boys will live long in their memory. Thank you to all of the parents who again provided transport and supported the boys on the day. We are very grateful to Mr. James Doherty (Willow Park Principal), Mr. Rory Crinion (Fr. Gavin Rugby Festival coordinator) and all of the Willow Park staff, parents and pupils for all of their hard work in coordinating and supporting such a fantastic day out for everyone. We are already looking forward to next year's festival!

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Bhaineamar an-taitneamh as an bparaisiúit i gcorpoideachas le déanaí.
We had a fantastic school trip to Newbridge House and Farm
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