Loreto prizegiving ceremony

The annual Junior Prizegiving was held at Loreto College on June 24 – the first time that the event could be held for three years – to celebrate the academic and personal successes of the College’s Key Stage 3 students.

The Prizes were awarded to recognise the academic, personal, inter-personal, community, cultural and sporting accomplishment of the students.

Three students who are leaving Loreto College this summer, and who have each had amazing achievements in their chosen sports, were presented to the College’s Year 8-10 students at the Prizegiving event. The three students were presented with some items of the much-coveted new Loreto College sports kit as they each embark on exciting new challenges.

A school spokesperson said: “Leon Boyd (Year 12) has impressed at youth level for Linfield and made his debut for Northern Ireland U17s in summer 2021, where he gained his first international cap. He started in an impressive 3-0 win over Wales as part of an international training camp at England’s St George’s Park in June. This talented teenager went on to earn a call-up to David Healy’s senior squad for the Windsor Park club’s pre-season friendly against Stoke City.

Leon Boyd, who has represented Northern Ireland at U17 level in soccer; Lucy O’Kane, who has won an Ulster Schools All Star award for Camogie and Patrick Kelly who has represented Northern Ireland at U18/U19 level in soccer, and now begins a contract with West Ham

“Later that month, Leon shone on the pitch as he scored for Linfield U17s in a match against Manchester United. Leon went on to play for Northern Ireland U17s against Italy U17s in the Euro qualifier in Larne in October. This attracted the attention of a series of UK clubs, and teams such as West Ham, Stoke, Leicester and Rangers have all invited Leon for trials.

Patrick Kelly (Year 13) was evident as a talented footballer from the moment he came to Loreto, and he was a star player in the Year 8 Coleraine and District league winning team. His sporting talent didn’t stop with football: he is also a fantastic Gaelic footballer. He starred for Loreto in Ulster Colleges games throughout school and for his own club, Eoghan Rua, when he played in the football off-season. Patrick is also an avid golfer, and he has recently represented Loreto in Golf Ireland competitions.

“Patrick’s football career has really accelerated in the past year. During pre-season, he caught the eye of Coleraine FC manager, Oran Kearney, while playing for Coleraine reserves. It wasn’t too long after that Patrick made his debut for the first team and then signed a three-year contract for Coleraine. As the season progressed, he became a regular starter for the Coleraine first team, playing in games against Linfield, Crusaders, Glentoran and in the League Cup final against Cliftonville at Windsor Park. After a string of fine performances for Coleraine, Patrick went on to captain the Northern Ireland U18 boys in a tour of Jersey in February this year, where they defeated the Jersey U21s 5-1, with Patrick scoring a fine goal. These fantastic performances did not go unnoticed.

“In June, Patrick was called up to represent Northern Ireland in the U19 team, in international friendlies against Malta, in Malta. Patrick played in both games, earning himself his first two international caps and drawing attention from some of the biggest clubs in the UK. Shortly thereafter, rumours began to circulate of a big move away from Coleraine for Patrick. Teams such as Aberdeen, Rangers, Stoke, Swansea and West Ham were all rumoured to be interested.

Year 8 Drama Award-winners at Loreto College Junior Prizegiving.

“Lucy O’Kane (Year 14) was a starting player for Junior All Ireland Camogie champions Eoghan Rua, where she displayed commanding performances throughout their Derry, Ulster and All Ireland campaign. After two demanding trials, Lucy deservedly was awarded an Ulster Colleges Camogie All-Star award. Lucy epitomises the Loreto ethos: she is helpful, kind and enthusiastic. She is also highly motivated and driven, and as a result, has had great success, both in terms of sport and academically. She is a natural born leader. As a member of our school’s Senior Prefect sixth form council, she has supported so many students through her promotion of wellbeing initiatives and through her one-to-one peer mentoring support.

“Our very best wishes go to Leon, Patrick and Lucy: three fine role models for the generation of younger students still at Loreto College, and a fine illustration of the success which can be achieved through hard work and determination.”

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