Photograph: Joe Buckley

INCREASING COSTS ASSOCIATED with extra curricular activities is the motivation for a golf classic for one Ennis secondary school.

Rice College will hold a golf classic at Woodstock Golf Club on May 4th and 5th to raise funds to enable the school to continue to hold extra-curricular activities across the school semester.

Ennis native Pat Devitt has been Deputy Principal of Rice College for three years, he has been on the staff for a total of 28 years and previously attended the school. He admitted, “I’ve spent my whole life in the school to be honest, I graduated from college in 1994 and went straight into Rice College after”.

He explained, “Sport is always important in school, it is a crucial part of the holistic development of all the kids that pass through Rice College, extra-curricular activity has always been an important part of the school, we’re very lucky to have had a huge number of teachers that have actively got involved in and have driven in”.

On the need to raise funds, Mr Devitt stated, “We’re a voluntary secondary school at the end of the day, we rely on contributions to try fund a lot of the activities, the way society is going now everything is going up in price, even bus hire and rental of pitches is increasing, that is the main reason we’re trying to generate funds to assist the school in promoting the extra curricular activities”.

Participation of future school teams is not in doubt just yet, he confirmed. “The Board of Management have been fantastic in supporting the extra curricular activities, money wise and every other aspect of it. The purpose is to generate that extra bit to push it on and try introduce new sports to the school and other activities”.

Inagh native Brian Foudy joined the teaching staff in September, following six years where he was based in Galway. Alongside, Conor Cleary he is driving the fundraiser. From their time over school hurling teams, they noticed that more funds would aid their participation, “we noticed that funding was quite low and it is hard to come by funds for sports equipment, paying for buses and referees, we’re using this golf classic as a way of helping teachers drive our extra curricular activities without the need of having to look at extra funding”.

Costs are rising across the board, the Woodwork and Tech Drawing teacher flagged, “With inflation, the cost of buses to and from matches has gone up, it’s very expensive or even the price of a hurley, sliotar or cones has gone up, it has put more pressure on school management so by having the golf classic it will take the pressure off management and focus then on delivering extra curricular activities”.

Mr Foudy is hopeful up to thirty teams will partake and commended local businesses for their support to date. Tee times can still be booked by contacting the school. He is confident that either he or Ms Ellen Chambers will stand out as the best golfers in the staff.

Past pupil, Aidan Mulcahy is currently the captain at Woodstock Golf Captain. Part of the graduating class of 1995, the Ennis native played golf with the school under the watchful eye of James Meade.

For Woodstock Golf Club to host the classic is “extremely important,” Aidan said. “I’ve a son and a daughter in the school, they are looked after, I think sport is very important for young students. Education is important but it is equally important for your mental health to have something outside of the studies, it doesn’t have to be sport but sport is definitely something I’d encourage students to partake in”.

Now working as a production manager in Microchip, Aidan was one of the first sponsors to lend their weight to the fundraiser. “When I found out it was on, I reached out to Brian Foudy and told him I would support the classic and help out in anyway I could. The underage hurling teams in the school have been very successful, they won the U16 and a half, they beat Our Lady’s Templemore and last year they won the U15 beating Lismore in the final, there’s been some really good success for hurling teams in the school. The senior camogie team have also been very competitive”.

To book a tee-time, contact 083 188 2882 or email ccleary@ricecollege.ie

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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