An initiative has been launched aimed at helping newly arrived Ukrainian children blend into primary school through sports.

As part of the Cumann na mBunscol Week, llianz and Cumannnam Bunscol are supporting schools across Ireland to allow Ukrainian school children to participate in local gaelic game activities.

Allianz provides these schools with 500 football, 200 Harleys and 200 slitters to help refugee schoolchildren get hooked on national competitions.

Twenty-six schools participating in this project accepted a total of 383 Ukrainian school children.

One such school is St. Bridges NS in Drumcong, Leitrim, which has welcomed 23 Ukrainian children since the start of the war in February. The school of seven teachers had just over 150 students before the Russian invasion.

Micheál Mac Thiarnain teaches at St Brid’s and he is one of the school’s leading Cumannnam Bunscol organizers. He said sports initiatives will help students interact with each other in a way that comes naturally.


St. Oliver’s National School in Killarney, Kelly, is one of 26 schools nationwide that participated in an initiative organized between Allianz and Kumannambanskol, where Ukrainian school children participate in local gaelic game activities through the school. I will support you. Photo by Brendan Moran / Sportsfile.

“It’s a universal language for kids, isn’t it? It can be difficult to get them to chat and communicate, but if you give them balls, haars and slitters, you don’t need words. Sports really It connects all the children, “he said.

National schools in St. Brigitte and nearby Drumshanbo welcome almost one-third of the total number of Ukrainian refugee children throughout Leitrim.

MacThiarnain said it was “lucky” to have a space to welcome so many students, adding that “children need to be integrated and educated.”

The school received 30 Quick Touch O’Neill soccer balls, 10 Harleys and 10 Srioters from Allianz. This is what McTianain says is “great help.”

“This week is Allianz Cumannnam Bunscol Week. We also want to go out for athletic meet, football blitz, and herring skill day, and they love it,” he said.

“they [Ukrainian schoolchildren] Can’t wait to be thrown into their hands and they can’t believe we’re giving them a stick … kids are kids so it’s very encouraging to see and play with them Become. It doesn’t matter where they come from or what language they speak. They like playing with the ball, running around, and being part of something. “

Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Week began in June 2020 with a focus on supporting gaelic games and related activities at school when the team was out of the field due to a pandemic.

This year, about 2,000 schools across the country participated in local GAA activities and competitions, and the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol School’s hurling final was held at Croke Park on June 7th and 8th last week.

Religious & Education Customer Relationship Manager at Allianz Alan Black said: Therefore, Allianz is pleased to sponsor the donation of this sporting goods to schools across the country in collaboration with Cumann na mBunscol. We hope that your participation in Gaelic Games will help you integrate these children into your school and the wider community. “

Meanwhile, the chairman of Cumann na mBunscol Joe Lyons, who has been involved in the organization for 40 years, said the new initiative will specifically support Ukrainian school children based in some of the more remote parts of the country.

“If a new kid comes to school and may be shy, a little tentative or nervous, put the ball in and start playing with other kids and it will settle down immediately. It’s me. Is the best social way of integration that he knows. It’s amazing, “he said.

“There are some areas where Ukrainian children have flowed in so much. I read somewhere about schools with a 50% increase in enrollment, so it’s a great opportunity to teach them how to hit the ball and integrate. . “

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