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St Mary's set world record for largest hurling lesson


By Declan Bogue

St Mary's CBGS have set a new Guinness World Record for the largest ever hurling lesson. More than 600 pupils took part in the biggest hurling session ever recorded, at the school's impressive facilities on the Glen Road under the watchful eyes of the record invigilators. It was co-ordinated by Head of PE Conor Hynds.

St Mary's headmaster John Martin revealed: "The Guinness World Record people were very strict about this.

"We put together zones on the pitch and had 46 pupils in a zone. Ulster GAA were good enough to lend us coaches and we used our own coaches as well. There were a couple of coaches with every group, just under 50 all doing the same drill."

As part of the mammoth effort, all pupils of different hurling abilities were involved - from those who are already experienced hurlers and were part of last year's successful Mageean Cup winning outfit, to 11-year-olds who wouldn't have held a hurl until they walked into the school in September.

"We encourage all sports here but hurling is part of the DNA of this school. We are the most successful school in Ulster at hurling in terms of senior finals and All-Stars," explained Mr Martin.

"So it's rather fitting that we would set a Guinness World Record and the boys would have that opportunity to make history I suppose in that particular sport.

"To be honest, you might have thought it would have taken place in Tipperary or Kilkenny or somewhere like that, but if it was going to be set in Ulster I think it is appropriate that it was set in St Mary's."

The idea came from Sean McGourty, a well-known figure in Antrim and Ulster GAA, along with former Antrim player Donagh Finnegan, who is a bursar at St Mary's.

"We are setting the record, so there isn't a record there already for us to beat," Mr Martin added.

"It's the fact that you have several hundred pupils doing the same drill over a period of half an hour.

"Guinness World Records have a minimum of 15 minutes for a drill so it's about the numbers rather than the duration of the session."

Elsewhere, the All-Ireland Camogie finals take place this weekend.

Cork play Kilkenny at 4pm in the senior final and Cork are also in the Intermediate final against Meath (2pm).

Dublin face Leinster rivals Westmeath in the Junior final (12pm) with all games played in Croke Park.

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