Last week, 11 students from Hazelwood College completed the famous Camino de Santiago in Galicia in Northern Spain. This was an historic event as the students were the first group from the school, perhaps any school in the country, to undertake this challenge. In total the students walked over 112 kilometres and in doing so collected a sizeable amount of money for charity.

Planning for the walk began back in October when the tour was first offered to Transition Year students. They undertook an introductory walk and soon afterwards began to raise money for their chosen charity Bounce Back. This charity is especially close to the heart of one of the students who participated on the walk, as it was set up by the mother of one of his basketball teammates who committed suicide, in order to help young people feeling under pressure. In addition the students started to collect the equipment they would need for the walk. Here it is necessary to recognise the support of the parents who were the solid foundations upon which this journey was built.

The journey began on May 24th when the students met at Charleville train station at 5am where, despite the early hour, the atmosphere was electric. The walk itself began on 25th May from Sarria and continued until 29th May, with the students walking between 17 and 30 kilometres each day. The trip was thoroughly enjoyed by all involved.

One student said it was “a great bonding trip. The banter among friends inspired the party to reach their destination, helping to overcome the difficulties along the way”. Another summed it up saying, “we became closer as friends, raised money for charity and did something for a stranger. The most rewarding thing I’ve done so far”. The teachers too were very impressed with the trip and were full of praise for the students. Mr Finn was delighted and commended the students on their approach to the trip. He said the most common word given by anyone who encountered the students on the walk was “wonderful”. Often both Mr. Finn and Ms O’Connor could be heard saying, “I feel like a proud parent”.