Meghen, Dolly, Yolko-ono, Chickira, Victoria and Laya compete in school’s Great Chicken Run

By Maurice Garvey

AN ALTERNATIVE sports day was hatched at a local school which saw students manage online chicken racers, reports Maurice Garvey.

Unable to host their traditional sports day due to lockdown restrictions, St Dominic's College in Ballyfermot came up with an ingenious idea to host a virtual 60 metre dash.

Great chicken Run 1

Winning team and race organiser pictured with the gold cup, Leah Keegan, Mr Forde, Mr Treanor and Sophie Davies

The school’s resident chickens were the designated athletes in what became St Dominic’s inaugural ‘Great Chicken Run’.

Six eager hens made up the race card - Meghen Markle, Dolly Parthen, Yolko-ono, Chickira, Victoria Peckham and Princess Laya.

All of the racers were appointed a teacher and students as the coaching team.

Sr Liz Smyth, Deputy Acting Principal St Dominic’s, said: “On Monday, the media circus rolled into the school. Interviews, build up, scandals, drama and the race itself kept the students and staff engaged with on goings in the school, particularly those students who have been at home for the last few weeks.

“The drama of the pre-race build up would rival the pomp and pageantry of professional wrestling. Media bans, coach rivalry, emergency press conferences, Spygate and a last minute medical, created a frenzied atmosphere in the school and at many homes across the community as the big race drew closer.”

As the school term concluded on Friday afternoon, attention turned to the racetrack.

Homes in Ballyfermot and as far afield as London, Glasgow, and New York, tuned in to watch the much-anticipated chicken run and social media helped to increase the excitement.

“The 60m track was covered in less than twenty seconds of blistering pace by the birds with Victoria Peckham, trained by Mr Forde, Sophie Davies (2nd year) and Leah Keegan (4th year) powering across the finish line to claim victory,” said Sr Liz.

Sr Liz presented the first ever ‘Gold Cup’ to the winning team and welcomed the “strong sense of community” in the school during times of “such uncertainty and upheaval”.

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