During lunch break, on 25 May, Salesian Past Pupil Mark Kenneally, Ireland’s first marathon runner to qualify for the London Olympics, visited his /alma mater/ Salesian College, Celbridge, where he was presented with a specially inscribed bowl to mark his historic achievement. The inscription reads: “Mark Kenneally, Salesian Olympian 2012, Congratulations” and includes the school’s crest. Mark was also presented with two cheques, one for €500.00 from the School’s Parents’ Association and one for €1,000.00 from the school to help with his expenses. He has also received a grant of €12,000.00 from the National Sports Council. Mark has been chosen to carry the Olympic Torch on its tour into Dublin on 6th June.
Meanwhile, another Past Pupil of Salesians, Celbridge, Fiach O’Rourke (2001 – 2007) who completed a degree in Sport, Health and PE in 2010 in Bangor University (Wales) and has been working in Bangor since that time, has been chosen to carry the Olympic torch on 28th May in Bangor.
Fiach’s Nomination Story
“Fiach has been an inspiration to sport in Bangor, Wales and Ireland. He has a remarkable sporting profile before moving to Wales including competing for Ireland in sport but also organising and facilitating of sport for youth. After moving to Wales he quickly took up a leading sports role in Bangor Uni by setting up an orienteering club from scratch and recruiting members and linking with the local clubs but also increasing the sport participation in Wales. He then went on to lead his team to 3rd in the British Champs relays (a major accomplishment for a new team). He ran weekly coaching sessions for free for university students and local orienteers. At the same time Fiach captained the university badminton club which he grew to the largest club in the university. Leading the team to 2 league wins and promotions in 2 years. Also getting to the cup final 2 years in a row (BUCS formerly BUSA). For his efforts he received university half colours for his work in first year for badminton, Blues in his second year for Orienteering (the top award), and University sportsman of the year. In his final year to sum it all up received Blues in Badminton (a double blues we think no one else has done). Also to add to that he pushed the badminton club to the club of the year while also setting up a squash club for some students who had no facilities available to them and ran that club in his final year while completing his degree. All Voluntarily. Major impact on Sport in Bangor” (From: http://www.london2012.com/torch-relay/torchbearers/torchbearers=fiach-o-rourke-159/index.html)
The school takes great pride in the honour given to these two past pupil athletes.