Home News Aviva Irish Schools Team Set for International Match

Aviva Irish Schools Team Set for International Match


An Aviva Irish Schools’ Team made up of the best under 17 athletes in the country will compete at the Aviva SIAB Schools’ International in Ashford, Kent on Saturday the 21st of July This is the 44th running of the competition which will see the Irish squad battle it out against teams from England, Scotland and Wales.

The girl’s team is captained by Discus thrower Hannah O’Sullivan (Boherbue Community School). O’Sullivan placed sixth in last year’s competition and will utilise this experience in leading the 2012 Irish team.

Alanna Lally (Presentation Athenry) competes in both the 300m and 4×300m relay. Lally has had an outstanding 2012 season, winning the 300m title at the Aviva All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships back in June. Lally was also a very impressive winner of both the 400m and 800m national title’s at last weekend’s Woodie’s DIY National Juvenile Championships. Other’s likely to impress in the sprint events are Rosin Harrison (Villiers Schools Limerick) in the 200m and Jade Leahy (Muckross Park) in the 300m.

Nadia Power (St. MacDara’s CC) will lead a strong Irish challenge in the middle distance events. Power competes in the 1500m, while her team mate Carla Sweeney (St. MacDara’s CC) goes for gold in the 800m.

In the field events Shannen Dawkins (St. Mary’s New Ross) cleared 1.65m to win the Irish Schools title, Dawkins will aim to improve on this mark at the weekend. Alice Akers (Scariff CC) has been in record breaking form all season and will be one of the favourite’s to win the hammer. Akers threw a massive 50.32m to win the Tailteann games and will be targeting a 50m plus throw on Saturday. Another thrower in good form is Jacqueline Burns (Cookstown High School) in the javelin. Burns won the All Ireland Schools title by over 6m with a throw of 36.81m and although the competition will be a lot tougher at the International, Burns will be confident of her ability.

The boy’s team is captained by hammer thrower Adam King (Colaiste na Sceilige Cahirciveen). King threw 72.24m at the recent national juvenile championships to set a new championship best, signifying he is in good form ahead of the competition. John Kelly (Royal and Prior Raphoe) has thrown close to 17m this year in the shot put. Kelly competed in last year’s event and will draw upon this experience at the weekend.

The multi-talented David Cussen (Colaiste an Spioraid Naomh, Cork) competes in his specialist high jump event. Cussen has cleared 2.00m with ease on numerous occasions this season and will aim to continue his winning ways on Saturday. Cussen is also the defending champion having won the event last year when it was held in Cardiff.

Zak Irwin (Sligo Grammer) and Dean Power (Killina SS) will renew their rivalry in the sprint events as they take on the best underage sprinters from England, Scotland and Wales. Watch out also for Garbhan McKenna (Beechill College Monaghan) in the 100m hurdles. The Irish Schools Champion has been improving with every race and will target another podium position on Saturday. Cian McBride (Summerhill Sligo), Conal Kirk (Sullivan Upper School) and Paddy Robb (St Malachy’s Belfast) lead a strong Irish challenge in the distance events.

At last year’s Aviva Schools International, the Irish team placed second behind a very strong English team. This year’s squad will aim to cement that position and mount a real challenge to topple their English counterparts.