For the second time in their history, Hemel’s John F Kennedy Catholic School had the honour of hosting the annual Herts GAA Secondary Schools Gaelic Football competition on Friday, October 20.
Nine teams from five different schools throughout Hertfordshire entered the tournament and it was also a celebration of JFK’s golden jubilee year.
The school’s PE department have continued to progress on the success of being crowned Catholic Schools Champions in the 2016/17 season and Gaelic football now has a prominent place in the school’s sports curriculum and is a popular activity among the students.
This year the JFK U13s squad were entered into a group against the likes of Saint Joan of Arc (Rickmansworth), Saint Michael’s (Watford), Saint Mary’s (Bishop Stortford) and Nicholas Breakspear (St Albans).
The JFK team had a core spine of students who had mixed abilities of Gaelic, rugby and football.
The team demonstrated stylish and committed skills to win three games out of four which earned them a place in the semi-final against a strong Saint Joan of Arc team.
After a hard-fought match, JFK were knocked out and beaten by the eventual winners.
Key performances from Charlie B and Tomi H in midfield saw their experience and agility shine through and they were supported by Harry S, Jordan D and Freddie N in attack and defence.
A huge thank you was sent to Stephen Lavery and the Hertfordshire GAA community team.
“Without their joint services and experienced guidance, the standard of Gaelic football within schools would not have progressed to as high a level as it is today,” the school said.
As a result of reaching the finals in the last two years and in partnership with the golden jubilee celebration, Chris Topping and the directors of Jay City Finance Ltd have now donated two Gaelic football posts to the school.
Teacher Mr Joyce said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Jay City Finance and I know that this donation is only going to provide further opportunities for our students to develop and experience Gaelic football at a higher level.”
Head teacher Mr Neves, added: “It’s fantastic to have a number of Catholic schools gathered together to competing at such a high standard and a big thank you must go to the teachers and schools for allowing them to participate.
“Our thanks must also go to Stephen Lavery and his team for organising such a wonderful event.”
The performance of not only the JFK students but all the schools was outstanding. “It clearly showed that Gaelic football is continuing to develop and progress”, the school added in a press release.