Athlone Bower students scoop county enterprise award

A group of Athlone students has scooped the top prize in this year’s Westmeath Student Enterprise Awards.

Aoife Ryan and Eimear Gill of Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone took victory in the senior category of the awards, held in Golden Island, Athlone last Friday with their project ‘SLS: Supplier of Locker Shelves’, a concept which provides extra storage solutions within lockers.

The girls were chosen from 33 projects from across the county, with 100 students from nine schools competing for titles in the 2013 Westmeath Student Enterprise Awards. They will go forward to represent Westmeath in the National Student Enterprise Awards in Croke Park on April 17.

Second prize on the day went to Sinead Wilkinson, Lianna Roffe, and Danielle Gileen from Loreto College, Mullingar for their project ‘FUNiture’, a fun adaption of furniture and household items.

Also winning prizes in the senior category were ‘Feed at Ease’, a new product to assist feeding cattle developed by Rachel Maguire, Laura Daly, Ciara Cullinane, and Sinead Holloway from Moate Community College which won most innovative business project.

Best business display went to ‘Calf Coats’ by Mark Kearney and Alan Daly from Marist College, Athlone for their weatherproof protective jacket for young calves.

Special judges prizes went to Catylin Boylan of Loreto College, Mullingar for her project ‘CB Knits’, and Caoimhe Shaw, Sarah Murphy, Siofra Molloy, Katelyn Mimnagh, and Sinead Nolan, also from Loreto, for ‘Hold IT’.

In the intermediate category, first place went to Shannon Sumner and Jennifer Gormley from St Joseph’s College, Summerhill for ‘Athlone Hand Painted Glass’, and the runners-up were Aisling Gordon and Caoimhe Lennon from Athlone Community College for ‘Customised Phone Covers’.

First prize in the junior category went to ‘Me Gusta’ by Dearbhla O’Reilly, Ella O’Neill, Mairead McCormack, and Andrea Lynam of Moate Community College, and second place also went to Moate for ‘Handmade Holders’ by Niamh O’Connor and Rachel Keane.

This year Westmeath Enterprise Board introduced two new prizes, the Students Award voted by students, which was won by ‘Flash & Walk’ by Colum Mullally, Dylan Conroy, and Sammuel Rosney of Athlone Community College, and the Most Enterprising School Award which was won by Loreto College Mullingar.

Students begin work on their projects in September every year, developing a viable business idea and generating sales over a six-month period. The 33 teams presented their ideas to the judges and the general public in Golden Island Shopping Centre, Athlone last Friday.

The overall winner in each of the senior, intermediate, and junior categories will now represent Westmeath in the National Student Enterprise Awards. These highly prestigious awards have been won in the past by students who subsequently went on to establish their own businesses.

For further information on the Student Enterprise Awards, visit www.student-enterprise.ie

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