Jennifer Linehan, Fionan Buckley and Grace O’Connor from Millstreet Community School with their project entitled “Which Olympic sport is most suitable for me ?” at this Years BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition [from the IT]
In a separate article, the project of Katie Hickey, Robyn Sheehan and Elmarie Kelleher was profiled:
“… Equally topical, and timely, is the project by three students from Millstreet Community School, in Cork. Katie Hickey, Robyn Sheehan and Elmarie Kelleher were all inspired to take up sport by women role models, although that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the men, too.
Their project – the correlation between success in an Olympic sport and participation in that sport following the Olympics – focused on the O’Donovan brothers, Gary and Paul, who now famously won Olympic silver in rowing in last August.
They admit they hadn’t heard much about the O’Donovan brothers prior to Rio, yet their interest in rowing is now significantly heightened – and in the wider context, that could be the springboard to further success in Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
“The motivation for the project was Paul and Gary O’Donovan winning their silver medals in Rio,” says Hickey. “It went viral all over the nation, and we thought about how much publicity that brought, and how that might increase people’s interest in rowing.
“It got us thinking about that. Elmarie and I both started camogie when we were eight years old after Rena Buckley came into our school to give a talk, having won the All-Ireland in 2008. She encouraged us to start. And it was the same with Robyn, who was inspired by Katie Taylor in 2012 in London, when she started boxing after that.”
They carried out some online research and also contacted clubs and sporting organisations: “One example was that in 2012, Britain had huge success in cycling at the London Olympics, and in 2013, there was a 12 per cent increase in cycling participation in Britain.
“We also saw that in 2009 there was an increase in Ireland in rowing participation, even though they didn’t win any medals (in Beijing in 2008). But Britain won six medals, so maybe it was influenced by that.”
They also found some evidence already that the success of the O’Donovan brothers might well further Ireland’s medal chances in rowing in Tokyo 2020.
“We contacted their club, Skibbereen Rowing Club, and in the past few months the numbers are up – about 50 people have joined the club since the success of the Rio Olympics.
“But we think more can be done. The Minister for Sport, Shane Ross, should be prepared to put more money into sports when they are successful, not just rugby, soccer and GAA. And we think RTÉ should also show more sports such as rowing. And it’s also important to bring the O’Donovan brothers around to more schools to promote the sport.” [IT]
— UCD Social Sciences (@ucdsocscilaw) January 13, 2017
Video: Neil Flahive and Jack Ducey also did a interview on their project – on periscope (here)
— BT Young Scientist (@BTYSTE) January 14, 2017
Millstreet Community School’s own round up of events at the BT Young Scientist is