Sports and Games
See here for the current timetable of co-curricular activities.
Sport is an essential part of the co-curricular programme in Gonzaga College SJ.
It is co-ordinated by the Gamesmaster and Director of Rugby, with the assistance of staff members, past-pupils, parents and other coaches.
Participation in the College sports programme is encouraged of the boys during their time in Gonzaga. It not only promotes their physical development and wellbeing, but also allows them an opportunity to develop their social & life skills and participate with their peers.
Sport develops character in a broader sense: teamwork and camaraderie; commitment and dedication; self-discipline and self-esteem; honesty and sportsmanship; a sense of perspective – gracious in victory, resilient in defeat; self-reflection; and a desire for improvement.
It is expected that all our students attend training sessions and matches, for which they are selected, and wear appropriate sports clothing for their chosen sport(s). This will include runners in the sports hall and on hard surfaces, and boots for the grass or all-weather pitch.
We further expect our students to participate with a positive attitude, show respect for team-mates and their opponents and ‘be the best they can be,’ whilst representing the College.
Gamesmaster – Mr Kieran
Athletics – Ms F McCarthy, Mr McCrossan & Ms Denny
Badminton – Mr Kennedy
Basketball – Dr Clark & Ms F McCarthy
Chess & Board Games – Ms McCague
Cricket – Mr Kieran, Mr Pelly, Mr Lynch & Mr Naoupu
Cross Country – Ms Denny
GAA – Mr Slevin
Golf – Mr Kieran
Swimming – Mr Kieran
Table-tennis – Ms Regan
Tennis – Mr Howlett & Mr O’Rourke
Ultimate Frisbee – Ms Gillane
Director of Rugby – Mr Naoupu
Senior 1 & 2 Rugby – Mr Pelly
Senior 3 Rugby – Ms F McCarthy & Mr Naoupu
TY & 5th Year Rugby – Ms McKay & Mr Naoupu
Junior Rugby – Ms Denny & Mr Bourke
U15 (2nd Year) Rugby – Mr Byrne & Mr McCrossan
U14 (1st Year) Rugby – Mr Naoupu & Mr Cavallaro
Athletics is run by Ms Fiona McCarthy, Mr Conor McCrossan & Ms Cliodhna Denny in the lead up to Easter, and in the summer term. Our students have the opportunity to qualify/attend the annual East Leinster track & field competition, run over two days towards the end of April/early May.
The annual College Sports Day takes place in the school grounds on a Saturday in May. The track & field events are open to all students who wish to attend; some field events may require pre-qualification in advance of the day. The students are categorised by year group as follows: Minor (1st Year), Junior (2nd Year), Intermediate (3rd & 4th Year) & Senior (5th & 6th Year). There are also sprint relays which are run in individual year groups.
Badminton club takes place every Wednesday afternoon in the Sports Hall from 1pm-2.30pm. It is open to students from all year groups and is run by Mr Thomas Kennedy. We enter the annual Dublin badminton leagues at various age groups from U19 to U14.
Basketball is fast becoming our most popular indoor sport. It is managed by Dr Michael Clark & Ms Fiona McCarthy, and we are currently entering teams into regional competitions in 1st year, 2nd year, U16 & U19. We have recently been promoted to B league status for the 2023/24 season. Basketball training takes place on a Monday and a Friday – see current timetable for relevant year groups training.
Cricket is played in the lead up to Easter and in the summer term. It is hoped that we will begin to facilitate more training opportunities early in the school year and during the winter in the Sports Hall. We field six teams across all age groups in the College: two First Year sides, a Second Year team, a Junior Cricket Team and two teams at Senior level.
The First and Second Year teams play their home games in the College on the lawn, and the Junior and Senior sides play at an available club ground. All teams compete in Leinster league competitions.
For training we have two outdoor cricket nets on the boundary of the cricket pitch on the lawn. We also have indoor nets in the Sports Hall that can be used in the winter.
The following members of staff will be coaching and managing cricket in 2023/24: Mr Daniel Lynch, Mr Gareth Pelly, Mr George Naoupu & Mr Paul Kieran.
Gonzaga participates in the annual East Leinster Cross Country Championships in January at Minor, Junior, Inter and Senior levels. Should a team or an individual be successful on the day they automatically qualify for the Leinster Cross Country Championships. A good result at the Leinster Championships allows you to compete at All-Ireland level.
In the past we have enjoyed considerable success at the East Leinster Championships and a number of our athletes have placed very well at the Leinster Championships and sometimes at the All-Ireland competition. Cross country takes place on a Thursday in the College grounds with Ms Cliodhna Denny.
Football and hurling take place during the summer term and is co-ordinated by Mr Tom Slevin. In recent years, junior and senior teams have played challenge matches against other local schools.
We are very fortunate to have a large number of students playing with their club and/or county teams, including recently past pupil, Paul Wilson, who was an All-Ireland minor champion with Meath in 2021.
We enter stroke play teams in the annual Leinster Senior & Junior boys’ competitions. Teams are generally selected on merit, based on a player’s golf handicap. We have had some success in recent years, reaching the All-Ireland finals at junior level in 2018, having won the Leinster title. Any interested player should speak to Mr Paul Kieran.
Sailing is co-ordinated by Mr Fiachra Etchingham & Mr Paul Kieran. We have a number of students who compete in regional, national and international competitions, both individually and as part of a team. The main format in schools sailing is team racing: three boats of two sailors, per team.
Although we do not have representative teams in the College, soccer is played by many of our students in their local clubs, and sometimes at a higher representative level.
There is an opportunity for students to play during some PE classes, moreso in senior cycle, and during break and lunch periods. There are also a number of charity soccer tournaments organised in-house through the school year in which boys can participate.
Swimming is co-ordinated by Mr Paul Kieran. We have a number of students who compete for their clubs in provincial and national competitions. We also have students who represent the College at the annual Leinster Schools’ swimming competition at the National Aquatic Centre. If they are successful in Leinster, they proceed to the National competition.
Gonzaga has a proud tradition in schools’ tennis.
We have won the Leinster schools’ Cups on many occasions at each age level.
The school has five tennis courts. Our tennis facilities are amongst the best in Irish schools’ tennis.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Fr. Keane SJ built up tennis in the college from scratch to establish the school as one of the most respected tennis schools in the country. When he retired from coaching tennis after the 1983 season, David Keenahan took over as coach and he co-ordinated tennis in the College from 1984 to 2016. For many years now seven or eight teams of seven players each have represented the college annually in Leinster competitions. Many other boys play tennis for enjoyment. Enquiries about tennis at Gonzaga may be directed to Mr Justin Howlett & Mr Fergus O’Rourke.
Table-tennis is run by Ms Eilis Regan. We enter teams at Minor, Junior & Senior levels in the annual Leinster schools’ league & cup competitions. Each age group has a specific training day after school, upstairs on the balcony above the sports hall – see current timetable for training days.
Gonzaga continues to progress in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee.
Strong performances in Leinster competitions at both Senior & Junior levels ensures that we maintain playing numbers in the College.
Training takes place in the Sports Hall on a Thursday after school and boys interested in playing frisbee should speak to Ms Aoife Gillane.
Student achievements are acknowledged by the awarding of an Honour tie which may be worn instead of the general school tie. These are awarded by the Headmaster at school assemblies throughout the year.
The following Honour ties are awarded:
An International tie is awarded to a student who is selected to represent his country. The tie is the reverse of the original Gonzaga tie which became the Prep School tie and ultimately, with the closure of the Prep School, the Prefect tie.
A Sporting tie is awarded to a student who distinguishes himself in the sporting area either nationally or provincially.
An Academic tie is awarded to a student who distinguishes himself in the non-sporting area either internationally, nationally, or provincially.
A Senior Rugby tie is awarded to a student who is selected for the 23-man match day squad for a Leinster Schools’ Senior Cup fixture.
A Senior Cricket tie is awarded to a student who represents the College in a Leinster Schools’ Senior 1st XI competitive fixture.
A Senior Tennis tie is awarded to a student who represents the College in a Leinster Schools’ Senior 1st team competitive fixture.