• Brenda

Book Launch at the Claddagh

Huge thank you to the Claddagh school Galway. Such a hearty and homely community :) This is the few words to them I wrote in hope of reflecting even a little bit of the light they share with Galway. Thanks to everyone for supporting the Roots Go Deep book :)

From the very first day I walked through the Claddagh doors, all I've ever felt is the kindness and warmth of this community. 3 years ago I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to volunteer with the Claddagh school. I had come home to Galway and needed to find a way to find my path. The Claddagh gave me the opportunity to follow my passion in Mindfulness and movement. I love our weekly classes together inside the classrooms or out in the sun, and I feel very grateful to be apart of this hearty community in the heart of Galway. You are all always so enthusiastic with big warm smiles every week, whether is jumping like the frog, being as steady as mountains or ocean breathing, ye are becoming masters of mindfulness!

A sincere thank you to Micheal, Tracey, all the staff and students for their kindness and support today. And what an amazing symphony the choir is! Thank you to all the musicians and singers that always light up any event here and around Galway City. I’d like to thank my family and my friends for all the support and encouragement in my own life and journey to now…. My mum Dorinda, Dad John, sisters Kate and Grainne, and Granny Mona, who at 96 still walks to seapoint everyday, reminding us we have heaven on our doorstep, a view that is the Burren and the Bay and the path that is the Prom.

A huge thank you to a person who really has a gold Claddagh heart and I know is a person that is very close to your heart, my good friend Inez Riordan. Inez took me under her wing and gave me the space I needed to figure out a way to really find my own wellbeing and bring my skills together. I was struggling with anxiety and overwhelm as I came back from a high pace lifestyle in Dublin. I feel into the arms of the Claddagh school and have never looked back in terms of getting clear on my own path and looking after my health.. Along with the friendship and support of my neighbour Orla Walsh, I'm very grateful to Inez and Orla for encouraging me the whole way. It is a huge thanks to the Claddagh school, the Jes school, my family and friends, it is a huge thank you to you all why I am standing here today. I have learnt to stay true to my own path and hold on to the value of keeping the faith, and never giving up on a dream. Thanks to the openness and patience of this community, Beo & Be Mindfulness and Movement classes are now in full swing.

From the Claddagh classes have now branched out to more schools, primary and secondary, in Devon House in Salthill and the Train Station Gym. Thank you for your inspiration and creative encouragement Claddagh. You are a vision for the future of schools, with core values of friendship, love and togetherness at heart, and a creative spirit that is never ending.

Over the last year I've put this book Roots Go Deep together. This book is a gift to you from me... I'd like to donate a book to every class as a thank you, it’s a nice read too about sport and wellbeing, so each class can pick up their copy after the speakers today! The story of this book began in the Jes secondary school down the road last year. I was helping out with the Senior hockey team alongside coach Richie here. I decided to collect as many messages as possible to encourage the girls for their match and celebrate the journey the night before the Connacht Cup final. The Jes girls were flying that day, full of good spirits, enjoyment and comradery, what Jes hockey and sport is all about. I’m delighted to say there are Jes heads here today, midfielder Carmel Heery and coach Richie Malone. And I’m delighted to be here with my Jes teammate Katie, we enjoyed many days in the maroon and white, today we are here to encourage you to enjoy your sport and exercise, have fun and remember that's what it's all about, enjoyment and wellbeing. The Jes team won their final but beyond any scoreline it was all about the energy. They played for enjoyment and they played for each other. This is what the book is about and this is what it has grown into. From a scrapbook to a hardback, it's all about people sharing real life experience in their own passions and disciplines, from many different teams and backgrounds. It’s like one big team. We are very fortunate to have the input and insight of the miracle marathon runner Gary Thornton.

The book begins with the good luck messages to the Jes team. This shows us the energy of motivation and the energy of the journey. Then there are photos in the book showing all the good times of the Jes hockey teams. Very much like the Claddagh teams and classes I can imagine. The memories with your friends is what you'll always remember and bring with you. The book broadens then into insight from the hockey, sports and wellbeing communities. From Olympians to grass root coaches and athletes, we are all one. Wisdom is gathered and shared in this book, giving the Children of today, the teenagers and adults of tomorrow, a chance to find their own light, their own passion in the fields of sport and wellbeing. It is a book full of presence of today's wisdom that can help shape, support and encourage the future. The book is now available here in the Claddagh school, discounted to €15 for you if you’d like a copy. All the proceeds are going into the makings of this book and into supporting Jes hockey too. Posters around the hall are like windows to what the book is about. I hope the energy of this book can support exercise, sport and wellbeing awareness in schools like the Jes and the Claddagh. That it can be a source of support for mental health and physical health, individually and as a community.

Finally, the book is full of the rhythm of life that is all around us always, Nature. Photos and symbols are a core part of this book alongside the messages. This is to highlight our natural connection with Nature as humans and how that connection can be nourished in day to day life. With Nature's inspiration too, this book is for the people, with the people and of the people. It is a book for you that I hope you will enjoy, and that I hope can further add to the eternal creative waves of the Claddagh school.

Thank you everyone for being here today and sharing this moment with the launch of the book… as definitely the Claddagh is a place where it's Roots Go Deep, as much as its branches light up the sky.

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