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Green Schools BIG Travel Challenge Winners 2016

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 29/04/2016. Green Schools BIG Travel Challenge Winners 2016Tags: Teachers

Coláiste Íosagáin, Portarlington was awarded the title of ‘Ireland’s Travel School of the Year’ at a ceremony in Dublin today 28/4/16). An Taisce Green-Schools presented the school with their award at the event honouring the winners of this year’s Green-Schools BIG Travel Challenge 2016 in the Radisson Hotel, Golden Lane. Seven other schools were also awarded on the day for their efforts promoting sustainable and active travel modes to school.

During February schools undertook the BIG Travel Challenge, which asked them to concentrate on one sustainable transport mode for two weeks to see if they could achieve real, lasting change in the travel behaviour of their staff and students. The Challenge is an initiative of the Green-Schools Travel theme, which is supported by the NTA and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Coláiste Íosagáin, whose 917 students and 80 staff members come from a wide catchment area, excelled and embraced the challenge. They concentrated on walking, beginning their challenge with 93 students and ending with an outstanding 554 students opting to travel to school on foot. To spread the message of sustainable, active travel the Green-Schools committee at Coláiste Íosagáin used their local media; social media; in-class presentations and issued fact sheets to staff to encourage a school-wide adoption of walking to school.

Their two week challenge culminated with Funky Friday Feet Day, where students and staff were encouraged to wear funky shoes and socks to school. Staff got involved too and between them ran 113 kilometres to school that day, from surrounding areas such as Mountmellick, Portlaoise and Monasterevin

Congratulating Coláiste Íosagáin and the other schools on their achievements, Green-Schools Travel Manager Jane Hackett said: “Two weeks is a short space of time in the school calendar but these schools really showed that a lot can change in a fortnight! They’ve shown that engagement – within the school community and outside the school gates – is one of the keys to real and lasting behaviour change. Well done to Coláiste Íosagáin!”

Seven other schools were awarded for their part in promoting green travel modes to school as part of the BIG Travel Challenge today. These are:

  • Cycling: Gaelscoil Aonach Urmhumhan, Tipperary

  • Walking: Monaleen NS, Limerick

  • Scooting: Gaelscoil Naomh Padraig, Lucan

  • Park ‘n’ Stride: Scoil Chroí Íosa, Blarney

  • Walking: St. Maelruins JNS, Tallaght

  • Park ‘n’ Stride: Rathcoffey NS, Kildare

  • Walking: Tallaght Community School


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