Scéal Spóirt Scoile 1950-2020, the newly published collection of stories about sports and Coláiste na Carraige (formerly Carrick Vocational School), highlights the GAA achievements of this small school, described by Jimmy Smyth, Ulster Vocational Schools Secretary, as “a shining light on the Atlantic seaboard”.
Scéal Spóirt Scoile tells stories of these Gaelic competitions beginning in 1964 with Dessie Griffin organising the first school team right up to the present.
The book also includes accounts of the school’s other ‘official’ sports: athletics and basketball, including articles from past pupils as well as teachers who managed and coached teams.
But that’s only half the story. The real strength of this book is in the diversity of the contributions. As well as the ‘official’ sports, you can read articles from teachers and past pupils about activities as varied as fencing, hammer throwing, scuba diving and darts as well as articles on sports psychology, education, community support, refereeing, coaching and much, much more.
The book also tells stories of staff sporting exploits. Several contributors mention teachers’ volleyball competitions played according to Manus Brennan: “back in the eighties, when we teachers were young of age and heart”.
The thread that runs through all the stories of craic and camaraderie, triumph and disaster is community. Sport happens because of the efforts of the whole community, coaching, driving, fundraising and washing all that gear!
In their contributions John Joe Doherty and Noel Ward both pose the question “How does such a small school have so much success?” The answer to that question is contained within the pages of Scéal Spóirt Scoile: it is the community that Coláiste na Carraige is a part of that makes it special.
Edited by Yvonne Cunningham, the book is priced at just €20 is available to buy from shops in Glencolmcille, Carrick and Kilcar and can be ordered online from An Siopa Gaelige (https://www.siopagaeilge.ie/products/sceal-spoirt-scoile-1950-2020-colaiste-na-carraige), Ebay or Amazon and shipped anywhere around the world. It is an exceptionally well-executed professional production, and a great addition to any bookshelf.