Roger Cleary Rugby and French Scholarship 2006
On Wednesday 10th May 2006 the ‘Roger Cleary Rugby and French Scholarship’ was presented for the second time to a High School student.
The scholarship has been established by Kieran Cleary & Co. Solicitors in memory of the late Mr. Roger Cleary who taught in the High School for many years and retired in 1964.
The recipient of the 2006 scholarship was 5th Year student Robert Carroll from Clonmel. Robert plays out half on the High School senior rugby team and was delighted to receive the scholarship.
Robert spent ten days in August at the French Sports and Language Centre in Soustons in the south west of France, near Biarritz. He received professional rugby coaching and tuition in French for the duration of his stay.
The centre boasts sports facilities of the highest quality and is used by international teams. As well as rugby, Robert also had the opportunity to partake in numerous other activities including surfing, sailing and kayaking.
The following is Robert’s account of his time in France:
“I was nervous heading off to France but from the very first day I made new friends so I settled in quickly.
On arriving in France the weather was quite stormy but the sunshine was not too far away. From Bordeaux we had a two-hour bus ride to our campsite in Soustons.
At the camp our coaches greeted us and we were put into our tents. After dinner we went to the market and then came back and watched a Biarritz rugby match on television.
A typical day at the camp was very well structured with lots of activities. Our wake-up call was 7.30am (except on Sunday when we were allowed to sleep in until 10am!). Breakfast was served and at 8.40am we had an hour of French class. In these classes the teacher helped us with oral and comprehension exercises.
At 10.30am we had rugby training, which focused on either skill development or fitness. We had lunch at 12.25pm followed by an afternoon activity, which included sailing, kayaking, surfing or body boarding at the beach. We then returned to camp for our second French class at 5.15pm for an hour.
This was followed by our second rugby practice of the day, which focused on match preparation involving lineout calls and back moves. This certainly worked up an appetite for our evening meal!
I loved the meals simply because of the variety. Lunch and dinner consisted of three courses: the starter included couscous, rice, pasta, tuna and vegetables; the main course was a selection of chicken, chips, burgers, fish, sausages, salads, rice, pasta and so on; desert was a choice of fruit, yoghurts or ice cream. I really enjoyed the meals, as they were very healthy and filling.
After dinner we had our final activity, which included either free time, watching a DVD or going to the bullring to watch the bull fighting, which was very entertaining. We also watched the local rugby team play, went to a monster truck show and had a quiz night at the camp. We were usually in bed by 11pm.
I loved the weather in France, as it was always warm, even on the few occasions when it was raining.
Our senior team played the South of France rugby team and lost narrowly by 15 points to 5. Unfortunately I had injured my shoulder at training so I could not play. I was quite disappointed over this.
After the game we went on a shopping trip to Biarritz. I must say that it is a beautiful city, perched on a hill overlooking the sea.
On our last Sunday we went to the water park. This was a day of relaxation and taking it easy before our return home. That evening we had our final trip into town, which was very enjoyable.
On Monday we said our goodbyes as we were heading home. We flew out form Lourdes airport.
I really enjoyed myself and made lots of friends. The rugby was brilliant and I would advise anyone who is interested to apply for the scholarship next year. I would like to thank the Cleary family and the High School for providing me with this wonderful experience.”
– Robert Carroll.
The ‘Roger Cleary Rugby and French Scholarship’ is open to High School students in 5th Year who study French, and who played and continue to play rugby for the school. The scholarship is awarded on an annual basis following an interviewing process. Details of the 2007 scholarship will be available from the school in January.
It is envisaged the scholarship will encourage more and more students to appreciate the importance of languages and team sports in the High School.