EIGHT Naas CBS together with two of their teachers undertook a 200km two day cycle from Naas to Birr as part of their Silver Gaisce President’s award. They also raised over €700 for charity in the process.
Daragh Duffy, Ronan Mac Giolla Rua, Kieran Lardner, Kieran Abrook, Conor Davis, Liam Power, Darren Cunningham and Robert Keogh had been training and preparing all year.
Joe Kelly, a teacher in the school and member of the local Naas cycling club had helped prepare the lads and provided them with detailed training plans.
The outward journey from Naas to Birr on Wednesday was against a headwind but the group covered the 100km distance in just under 5 and a half hours. On Thursday the group took a rest, resuming the next day. Good weather and a favourable wind helped the group cover the return 100km leg in 4 and a half hours.
All eight students undertook the Gaisce award last year in transition year for the bronze award. They then tackled the Silver award this year in 5th year. Naas CBS is one of the very few schools who accommodate silver Gasice participants in 5th year.
The students were requested to complete 26 hours of community work, 26 hours learning a new personal skill and 26 hours undertaking a physical recreation. The final part is either a 50km hike over two days, a 200km cycle over two days or a kayaking weekend. They were also assisted by another teacher Tom Noone, also a member of Naas Cycling Club and a seasoned cyclist.
Every year TY students are given the option to participate in the Bronze Gaisce award and when they go into fifth year they are further encouraged to undertake the Silver award.
School chaplain Fr John Brickley has also been a driving force behind the school’s participation. Teacher Deirdre Fitzpatrick, is a qualified President’s awards leader, with great experience of Gaisce. Local Cycling coach and manager Tom Keenan helped with the preparations. The sponsorship money will be split evenly between Saplings school for Autistic children in Kill and the Naas CBS Zambia project.