A triumphant victory came as an apt closing to what had been a very successful year for the Public Speaking and Debating Society at Foyle College. Blake Gray, a Year 13 Pupil at Foyle College was one of six pupils selected by the judges throughout various rounds of the NI Schools’ Debating Competition to compete for the title of ‘Best Individual Speaker’.
The motion for debate was ‘This house believes that Northern Ireland should see a return to direct rule.’ Competitors were set the task of preparing 6 minute arguments, both for and against the motion and upon arrival at Stormont, they would be told which side they would debate and with whom they would be teamed.
Blake was teamed with Thornhill student, Marianne Lappin, their other teammate having withdrawn a few days before the event was due to take place. Together they opposed the motion and faced the proposition which consisted of pupils representing St. Louis Grammar School, Ballymena; Belfast High School, Newtownabbey and Lurgan College.
The debate was tense throughout and thought-provoking arguments were put forwards from both sides. However, in the end, Blake’s outstanding ability as an orator shone through and he was the only competitor to successfully accept and contest every point of information thrown his way by the three members of the proposition.
On Friday 1st May, Foyle College proudly hosted a ‘Jazz in the Community’ workshop in association with the Outer West Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, the Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure and The Nerve Centre.
The event included performances from Foyle College’s Senior Jazz Band. Guests included Neil Cowley, contemporary jazz pianist and musician in residence for the UK City of Culture, and David Lyttle, drummer and The Nerve Centre’s musician in residence. Other performers includedsaxophonist Meliana Gillard, Glen Rossborough, Aideen McGinn, Marty Coyle and Paddy Danagher.
The event also included a performance of an untitled composition written by David Lyttle and Foyle College Year 14 pupil Joseph Leighton. This composition will be release later this year by David’s record label LYTE records.
On Wednesday 29th April the U18 footballers travelled to Ballymena Showgrounds to play in the Final of the Inspiresport Youth U18 Plate against St Joseph’s, Derry.
In difficult weather conditions the team played a backs to the wall first half with Matthew McClelland making an outstanding save early on to thwart the St Joe’s attack. Midway through the half a high ball was dropped by the opposition keeper and sam Hughes was on hand to turn the ball into the net. Against a strong wind and determined opposition, Foyle had battled to a half-time lead. The second half was a much more open affair and the solid and assured back four of Foyle allowed the midfield and forwards more time and space.
The game was effectively won in a five minute burst involving two free kicks. The first was parried by the keeper before Robbie House slammed the ball home to double Foyle’s advantage. Even better was to follow as Jack McNeill scored a spectacular 25 yard free kick to make it three nil and Foyle were in dreamland. A couple of minutes later the ball broke to Stephen Mills and he chested the ball under control before slotting home. There was still some defending to be done but when the whistle blew to signal the end of the game there was no denying that the better team had triumphed. A first football trophy for Foyle and their proud captain, Alex McDonnell lifted high the trophy. This squad have been outstanding throughout the cup run, scoring 22 goals in securing the prize.
Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion, who was on hand to give her support and encouragement to the Cyclists Against Suicide participants and students as they left Foyle College to travel to Enniskillen on the next stage of their 1400Km cycle.
A cavalcade of 800 cyclists arrived at Foyle College this week as part of the annual all-Ireland Cycle Against Suicide which aims to promote the message that “it’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.”
The epic 1,400km, 14-day charity cycle, which set off from Belfast, arrived in Derry on Tuesday before heading to Omagh and Enniskillen and then on to the southern tip of Ireland. It’s due to finish in Dublin on May 10.