Rotary showcase Youth projects

YOUNG people in Coleraine have been showcasing their talents in events arranged through the town’s Rotary Club.

The club has been arranging various youth projects in conjunction with local schools. The winners have found success in Belfast, Dublin and Strasbourg.

The first success came through the Youth Leadership Development Competition organised through the Coleraine club and Rotary International. Jack McCann from Loretto College was the successful candidate from Coleraine and was selected as part of the team of 25 young people from all over Ireland on the trip of a lifetime to Strasbourg.

The project saw the young people visit the Northern Ireland Assembly, Dáil Éireann, in Dublin and the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It wasn’t all sightseeing however as the Irish team took part in a major youth debate at the parliament itself and yet again this year the team excelled.

The Young Chef competition produced a winner in the form of Payton Mullan, again from Loreto College. The competition saw six young people prepare and cook a range of sumptuous meals and Payton came out tops with her delicious menu.

The event was sponsored by the Ramore Wine Bar and Moore’s of Coleraine. The judges included Collette McCotter and Fionn McAlpin who revealed an additional prize of a day working on the famous Ramore desserts in Portrush.

Payton went on to Belfast for the Northern Ireland heats and was a winner yet again. The final saw Payton travel to Dublin and take third place as her meal was highly commended by the judges.

The Rotary Club has also held a Young Writers competition. The competitors had to write a poem on the theme of Olympic sports and the two local age group winners were Martha Snookes, Intermediate age group, and Rebekah Phillips, Senior, both from Coleraine High School.

The guest judge was Tony Macauley, author of “The Paperboy” who was highly complementary of all the poems that were submitted to the competition.

In the all-Ireland stage of the competition, Martha’s poem was again the age group winner and has been put forward to the UK and Ireland competition.

Rotary also sponsor a Group Exchange Scheme, this year sending a team from Ireland to Australia for a work themed visit. A young solicitor from Coleraine, Sean Paul Henry, came through the rigorous selection process and is currently part of the team visiting ‘Down Under’.

All in all Coleraine Rotary Club and young people in the Coleraine area have enjoyed great success in the projects this year and hopefully the schemes can be extended to other young people across all the local schools in the next year.