Perfect prize for rugby fan Jenny

March 3rd, 2024 6:00 PM

Jenny O’Donnell won the I Wish essay competition and was invited on stage at the RDS where she was interviewed by TV presenter Laura Fox.

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SAINT Joseph’s National School’s sixth class pupil Jenny O’Donnell won an amazing prize in the ‘I Wish’ essay competition recently. She was asked to write, in no more than 250 words, how Stem subjects had influenced her, or her team’s performance in sport.

Not only did Jenny win the essay competition, but she was invited on stage in the RDS and was interviewed by TV presenter Laura Fox. Well done to Jenny who was so gracious accepting her prize. Everyone in the school is so proud of her.

The sixth class girls, together with students from Clonakilty Community College, had an early morning call as they set off to the I Wish Stem Showcase in the RDS recently.

The tenth annual showcase hoped to inspire girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Jenny, an avid rugby fan, won a jersey signed by the Irish rugby team and three tickets to watch the team train at their Captain’s Run event which will be their last training session in the Aviva, the day before Ireland take on Scotland on March 15th. 

Jenny is a keen rugby player and plays for U14 Clonakilty RFC – as did her mum before her – Maeve Quirke, who was Clonakilty’s first Irish International and who was honoured at a special IRFU caps ceremony in the Aviva Stadium.

This is the short essay which won Jenny the wonderful prize:

How does Stem enhance my life? 

STEM enhances my performance in Sport. Running has been an Olympic sport since the first Olympics in Athens in 1896. The winner of that first marathon ran in bare feet with a time of 2 hours 58 min and 50 seconds, a time that regular runners could beat today. One hundred and twenty five years later and the winner of the Olympic marathon wins with a time of 2 hours 8 minutes and 38 seconds in Tokyo. The time difference is 50 minutes and 12 seconds. That is quite a difference.

This is because of improvements in science, technology, engineering and maths, otherwise known as Stem.

In 1896 they ran barefoot. Today we run in highly advanced footwear. Because of Stem, we know how to make our footwear better, eat better and run better. In the last five years shoe companies like Nike and Asics have invented super shoes. Nike and Asics engineering and science team have invented shoes to help you recover, train and run better because of their research into Stem.

Scientists at companies such as Garmin have invented watches that can tell athletes how far and fast they’re going using satellite technology known as GPS. Most watches also show you your heart rate. This helps runners to know when to take it easy and know when to run harder.

I wasn’t interested in how watches work or how if I train hard enough I could become the next Irish athlete, but after writing this essay I will be so much more interested in all of this.

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