Buddy Run raises funds for Pieta House

On Friday last Davis College, Mallow rolled out a hugely successful 10 kilometre run in the scenic grounds of Doneraile Park. This was organised through the newly set-up House System. The Davis College House System came to life in September 2012 and was the brainchild of school Principal Mr. Denis Healy. A committee was set up to oversee the development of the system within the school. The committee consisted of Miss Ashley Prenderville, Mr. Brian Moylan, Mr. Glen Burke, Miss Helen O’ Hanlon, Mr. Jamie Herlihy, Miss Kathy Kilgallon, Mr. Kevin Duffy and Miss Sharon Courtney.

The response to the system has been hugely positive and feedback from students has been that of enthusiasm and excitement. Each student is placed in a house along with family members and will remain in that house for the duration of their time in Davis College. The house names were chosen after powerful Celtic gods and goddesses, Lugh, Morrigan, Danú and MacLir. The College was most grateful to Mr. Liam Casey (Mr. China) who very generously sponsored the uniquely student designed t-shirts that were worn by each student on the day. On Friday the park was ablaze with red, blue, green and yellow athletes.

Mr. Colm O’Neill, former pupil and inter-county G.A.A. star, attended the event; there was great excitement amongst students as they got an opportunity to meet with one of their idols. Colm is a great role model for the present students of the College.

The aim of the project is to harbour a sense of community within the school for staff, students and parents which acts as a platform to raise awareness of important issues facing young people.

This year the chosen charity was Pieta House and several thousand euro was raised for the very worthy charity. This money was collected through student sponsorship cards. This money will be put towards setting up a base for Pieta House in Cork. Pieta House is a non-profit organisation providing a specialised treatment programme for people who have suicidal ideation or who participate in self-harming behaviours. CEO Joan Freeman of Pieta House was in attendance on the day and was hugely complimentary in relation to the work carried out by staff, students and parents in order to make the event a success.

The event was also attended by ‘Secret Millionaire’ and ‘Cycle Against Suicide’ visionary Jim Breen. Jim Breen has been hugely supportive of the House System initiative and even managed to fit in some training through the race for his up and coming cycle. In late April the House System will also host Jim Breen and his supporters as they pass through Mallow on their cycle. Teachers from Davis College will also cycle on with the Cycle Against Suicide group.

The event was also honoured with the attendance and participation of local T.D. and Minister of State, Mr. Sean Sherlock. Mr. Sherlock also launched the event on 5th March with ‘Operation Transformation’ star Ms. Deirdre Hosford. The College is most grateful for the support Mr. Sherlock has given to the House System in Davis College.

The aim behind the 10 Kilometre race was to promote mental, emotional and physical fitness. It is commonly known that physical fitness helps to strengthen mental fitness. Raising awareness of solutions for those suffering from mental health issues is of major importance to the House Committee.

The event was an overwhelming success and is a clear symbol of the generosity of spirit that exists in staff, students and parents in Davis College. The planning is already in progress for next year’s eagerly awaited event.

Great fun was had by all and even two heavy showers could not dampen the spirit of the participants. To conclude the run tea and refreshments was enjoyed by all in the Tea Rooms in the old courtyard of the Doneraile House. The staff, students and parents would like to extend their appreciation to the staff of the Tea Rooms, all of the grounds keepers in the park for hosting the College on the day, the staff of the College and the Parents Association.

The Davis College House System is at present in its formative years, but the hope is that it will leave students with positive memories of their school going days and set them up with skills and knowledge that will be invaluable to them long into the future.