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Ahane National School celebrates Friendship February with a visit from local Olympic Athlete Sarah Lavin

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Limerick Olympian Sarah Lavin is welcomed by Siobhan Kennedy, principal and the pupils of Ahane National School which is also celebrating its 200th anniversary this year and is one of Limerick’s oldest schools. Pic: Niamh Kenny

International sprint hurdler Sarah Lavin paid a special visit to Ahane National School following her success at the National Indoor Athletics Championships

International sprint hurdler Sarah Lavin paid a special visit to Ahane National School following the National Indoor Athletics Championships
Ahane NS principal, Siobhan Kennedy presents Limerick Olympian Sarah Lavin, Lisnagry with flowers on the occasion of her visit to Ahane NS this week as part of the school’s ‘Friendship February’ event. Also pictured is teacher Therese Tuohey. Image: Niamh Kenny

Limerick Olympian and international sprint hurdler Sarah Lavin paid a special visit to Ahane National School, this week fresh from her success at the National Indoor Athletics Championships over the weekend.

The visit commenced with an enthusiastic welcome from the excited Ahane NS pupils, who eagerly awaited the opportunity to meet one of Ireland’s fastest women as she prepares for the World Indoor Championships and the Paris Olympics later this Summer.

The 29-year-old from Lisnagry immediately captured the attention of the young audience as she attended a school ‘Cruinniú’ where members of the Student Council presented her with flowers.


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Following the presentation, Sarah engaged with the young pupils in a lively Q&A session, during which she fielded a wide range of questions, from her training routine to her favourite moments in her athletic career. The children were eager to learn from her experiences, examine her European Games medal up close and were inspired by her dedication to her sport.  She also very kindly did a warm-up and exercise session in the school yard for all pupils.

Throughout the visit, Sarah emphasised to the pupils the importance of setting goals, working hard, and believing in yourself. She shared anecdotes from her own career, illustrating the value of resilience and determination in overcoming obstacles and achieving success. The young Ahane NS pupils were captivated by her stories, eagerly listening as she recounted her journey from a young girl with big dreams to representing Ireland on the world stage.

Ahane National School principal, Siobhán Kennedy, expressed her gratitude to Sarah Lavin for taking the time to visit the school and inspire the students.

Irish Olympic Athlete Sarah Lavin puts the children of Ahane National School through their paces as she visits the 200 year old school as part of it’s ‘Friendship February’ celebrations.

“We know how incredibly busy she is and it was wonderful to have her visit Ahane National School to talk to the children about the values we strive to also instill in our pupils,” she said. “Sarah spoke about the need to follow your dreams and work hard to achieve goals, no matter how big or small. She talked about the importance of resilience and having strategies to manage nerves in any situation. She said having positive and loving people around you to support you is so helpful. We were absolutely thrilled to have her visit the school and the children will remember it for a long time to come.”

Sarah Lavin said was delighted to visit Ahane NS and really enjoyed her visit, “I got such a warm welcome and it was so lovely to meet all the teachers and children especially and answer their questions.  I loved the enthusiasm of all the kids, thank you so much to everyone in Ahane National School for having me visit this week. It’s absolutely wonderful to visit and you really lifted my spirits!” she added.

Sarah’s visit to Ahane National School took place as the school celebrates the importance of friendship this February.

‘Friendship February’ sees the pupils take part in acts of friendship  across the month while raising funds for Special Olympics Ireland.

All pupils across the school are involved in a range of activities including designing artwork to represent friendship and kindness, oral language friendship activities, music based activity with the learning of the Bruno Mars song “Count on Me” and sports activities involving co-operation and friendship.

Limerick Olympian Sarah Lavin puts the children of Ahane NS through their paces as part of a visit to the school in Laught, Lisnagry this week. Pic: Niamh Kenny, Ahane NS

Pupils are also planting seeds in flower boxes to represent the growth and promotion of friendship within Ahane National School, one of Limerick’s oldest schools which celebrated its 200th anniversary last October.

Sarah has just competed in the National Finals and equalled her personal best of 7.91 seconds in the 60m hurdles and qualified for the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow next month. She is currently the fastest women in Ireland in the 100 metres running at 11.27 seconds. She competed in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August where she broke the national record for the 100m hurdles, running a time of 12.62 seconds.

Sarah will be hoping to take her excellent form into the upcoming World Athletics Indoor Championship which take place in Glasgow from March 1 to March 3.

Everyone at Ahane NS wishes her the very best of luck!

Find out more about Ahane NS
Read more stories about Sarah Lavin

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.