TRAINING might be on-hold for Diarmuid Mullins’ minor hurling team, but the Limerick manager will be calling on his panel of 70 teachers and 893 students to rise to the challenge when Crescent College Comprehensive reopens its doors next week.
It will be a baptism of fire for the Laois native, as he has been tasked with preparing the top tier sporting school to be Covid-ready, ahead of his first day as principal on September 1.
And despite the considerably large size of the Dooradoyle school, it has been no easy feat in creating additional safe spaces for students and teachers.
Masked up, Mr Mullins gave the board of management a tour of the site, showing the various changes to school. The large central area now contains three teaching spaces, while the library has been transformed into a classroom. Even the canteen is now two teaching areas. In addition to this, partitions have slotted in to separate classes, with an investment of extra furniture.
“The biggest challenge for us is the space. Even though we have a lot of ground and space around the actual campus, our classrooms are actually quite small because we are currently very close to having a full refurbishment of the school,” said the hurling manager who was appointed the top job in June.
“We’re going to have to adapt and see what we need to do to ensure that the school is open and functioning.”
He said that parents are “very keen” for their children to return to school, adding is looking to communicate with parents whose children have pre-existing medical conditions “about how we’re going to assist those students coming back to school”.
Likewise, his team of 70 staff returning to the campus will be a challenge, too.
“We have a fantastic staff that give very freely their time, and their relationships they have with their students and with each other is always based on a positive, social interaction. That is going to be challenging and everybody is going to have support each other when they go back to their workplace.”
Crescent College Comprehensive is famously known for its sporting achievements in hockey, rugby, athletics and many more. But before a routine of extracurricular activities can take place, “we need to get the school up and running and safely, get into the rhythm of the school year”.
“It might need be the same level of extracurricular activities we have had previously but any kind of activity that is good for their physical wellbeing is something we’re going to look at.”
And as for his minor hurlers, while their training has been paused due to Covid-19 restrictions, he is hoping they will be back on the pitch in the coming weeks.
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