last Wednesday, Ballymoney Model Primary School which had been granted Controlled Integrated Status from 1st September 2009, unveiled its new updated sign at the front of the school.
Mr Trevor Ringland, M.B.E., the former Irish and Lions Rugby player was invited to perform the ceremony. N.I.C.I.E. was represented by Mrs Denise Morgan who has visited the school on many occasions. The Board of Governors and PTA Committee were also invited.
The morning began with a short assembly at which all the children sang a favourite hymn, “No Mountain High Enough.” The senior choir than sang two items from their repertoire at Coleraine Festival, “The Seed Song,” and “Everybody Praise Him.”
Mr McVeigh then spoke to the children about Mr Ringland and his contribution to a shared society and a shared future. The pupils heard about Mr Ringland’s “One Small Step Campaign,” which promotes tolerance through sport and about his involvement with Peace Players International for which Mr Ringland was awarded the Arthur Ashe for Courage Award in 2007. Mr McVeigh then noted the steps and progress which the school has made since transformation, commenting on the various successes this year by the children in music, sport and in the schools’ quizzes.
Mr Ringland responded by telling the children that despite all our differences, we all can work together to succeed and pave the way for a brighter and more successful future. He used some of his experiences from his rugby playing days for Ballymena, Ulster, Ireland and the Lions to show how this can be done.
To conclude the assembly, Mr Ringland presented children with various sporting and non-sporting awards. Two members of staff, Miss Herron and Mrs Robinson, received Heartstart Trainer Certificates enabling them to teach children what to do in life-threatening emergencies – simple skills that save lives.
Having been thanked for coming to the Model for this important morning the children, visitors and staff then proceeded to the front of the school where, after a countdown initiated by Mr Ringland, the new sign was revealed.