Foróige young people brought a great deal of creative energy to the National Ploughing Championships last week! There were two major initiatives which attracted much interest; the National Junior Baking Competition, and the Foróige Time Travel Gardens, created with the support of well-known landscape artist Diarmuid Gavin. All of these activities came about due to the exciting partnership between Foróige and Aldi Ireland announced this year.
National Junior Baking Competition
Foróige members have been competing in regional heats since April of this year in an effort to be brought forward to the finals. Eight semi-finalists competed in a final held in the Aldi marquee at the National Ploughing Championships. The finalists were: Eabha Campbell (Monaghan), Jessica Rooney (Mayo), Joanne Craddock (Cavan), Tara Mulryan (Roscommon), Jenna Smyth (Wicklow), Áine O’Mahony (Cork), Hannah Power (Kildare) and Adi Canty (Kerry). The young bakers were featured on Ploughing Live on RTÉ 1 each evening of the Ploughing Championships. The winner of the National Junior Baking Competition 2015 was Eabha Campbell (Monaghan). She was joined in the final by Adi Canti, Áine O’Mahony and Jenna Smyth. Eabha has won a trip for Truagh Foróige Club to Delphi Adventure Centre in Co. Mayo, in addition to winning baking equipment to help her to perfect her skills. Our young bakers were fabulous ambassadors for Foróige, with each of participants offering words of encouragement to each other and a helping hand if it was required.
Foróige Time Travel Gardens
Four gardens designed and built by Foróige young people from Cork, Galway, Clare and Laois were also on display at the National Ploughing Championships. The young people worked with Diarmuid Gavin to develop their ideas and the four 'time travel' themed gardens were truly spectacular. They went on to be featured on TV3 and in other media outlets. Thousands of attendees stopped by to see the gardens and many took the time to talk to the young people involved. We were delighted to have President Michael D. Higgins visit the gardens, in addition to the Tánaiste and Labour Leader Joan Burton TD and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney.
Each and every young person, volunteer and staff person involved deserves a huge round of applause for all of their hard work and dedication in the lead up to and at the Championships themselves. The young people deserve special recognition as they not only worked so hard to create the gardens, they also acted as fantastic ambassadors for the organisation.
The Foróige National Junior Baking Competition and Time Travel Gardens featured in the Sunday Mirror and Sunday World.