Ireland rugby stars attend opening of new sensory classroom

WOODEN Spoon Ulster funded a new state-of-the-art sensory classroom in a west Belfast special needs school. The project was officially opened by two well-known sporting legends.

Ireland rugby stars Tommy Bowe and Willie John McBride paid a special visit to St Gerard’s School and Support Services on the Black’s Road to have a look around the “immersive multi-sensory classroom”.

During their visit, Bowe, a former an Irish former rugby union player from Co Monaghan and McBride, from Co Antrim, who played 63 Tests for Ireland including 11 as captain, met pupils and staff before enjoying a tour of the school and the sensory room.

Principal, Stephen Ramsey said the classroom would have a “calming influence” on the school which has around 300 pupils, aged three to 19.

“We have put a state-of-the-art sensory room in and that is to meet the changing needs of our pupils,” he said.

Tommy Bowe and Willie John McBride attending the opening of a new sensory classroom

“This is an immersive multi-sensory classroom and it has brought things to life for them. It can also be used as a calming influence for some of our children with a range of complex needs. Some children find it difficult to emotionally regulate and this will help with this.”

He added: “The school is so thankful to Wooden Spoon. Our students will really benefit from the impact of this wonderful resource that we now have.”

The £35,000 grant awarded to St. Gerard’s School wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Ulster committee, members and supporters. If you would like to find out more about the region and their upcoming events please click here.

Credit: The Irish News: Marie Louise McConville