Newswire » Local News » Student Enterprise Awards Chooses Champion

Student Enterprise Awards Chooses Champion

NO REPRO FEE 22/4/2015 Shiofra Ryan (16) of 'An Tionchar' from St. Brendan's Community College in Birr, in County Offaly won the top award in the Senior Category at this year's Student Enterprise Awards National Finals in Croke Park, organised by the Local Enterprise Offices. Since last September, 17,000 budding entrepreneurs from 370 secondary schools have been researching, setting up and running their own enterprises, with support from their Local Enterprise Office. At the National Finals in Croke Park, 300 students from 74 different enterprises were competing in the biggest competition of its kind in the country. As part of the senior category prize, the winners will enjoy an educational trip to Berlin and a place at a Winners Business Bootcamp in UCC, which is also being organised by the Local Enterprise Offices. The 2015/2016  programme starts in September, with full details available at HYPERLINK "" or Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Student Enterprise Awards Chooses Champion

On the 22nd April 2015, Ireland’s youngest entrepreneurs competed in the National Finals for the Students Enterprise Awards at Croke Park. There were 300 entrepreneurs present on the day from 74 different enterprises from around the State.
Every year youths from the Republic compete in these very popular Awards. One could be forgiven for their thinking that a lot of their wonderful innovative ideas could be coming from adult minds.
This year was the 13th Student Enterprise Awards and first and overall winner in the senior category went to 16 year-old Shíofra Ryan, who is a pupil at St Brendan’s Community school in Birr, County Offaly. Shíofra took first prize for her designer boots she calls ‘An Tionchar’, Irish for ‘impact’.
Her boots are designed for hurling and camogie players and she is already selling them. Shíofra told Ireland Live who was at Croke Park to report on the day: “It’s the first of its kind; the boots worn by hurlers are actually designed for soccer. Hurling and soccer are two very different sports. So I went and invented a hurling boot called ‘An Tionchar’, the impact hurling boot, and now I’m selling it.”
Shíofra is no stranger to camogie herself, she plays for her school’s club and also for her county. She said she came up with the idea when she had a pain in her ankle and had to see a physiotherapist and was told by him that she had to buy an orthotic insole that would cost her €250 for extra support. She then thought of designing a boot that would give ankle support and arch support.
“I started off with a 3D model and I designed it using software. I tested the original prototype with over 60 camogie and hurling players, analysed it and saw what improvements needed to be made,” she said about her designer boots.
She worked with physiotherapists, chiropractors and podiatrists who gave her the thumbs up for designing a boot that could make such a difference to a game of camogie, for both injured and uninjured athletes. Shíofra is intending to produce her ‘An Tionchar’ on a larger scale and has already approached manufacturers.
According to Stephen Walshe, the Chair of the Enterprise Committee, roughly 100,000 teenagers have participated in these prestigious awards over the last thirteen years since their establishment. Stephen Walshe went on to say that it aims at ‘helping to encourage and support the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs and business leaders’.
Second place in the senior category went to Ciaran Boyle from Coláiste Ris School, Dundalk in Co. Louth, for his invention The Rain Harvester – an affordable water collection and filtration system for households. Third place went to an enterprise called “Once Upon A Rhyme” designed by student Niamh Murray. “Once Upon A Rhyme” is a range of t-shirts and jumpers with tailor made designs to bring nursery rhymes into the 21st Century. Niamh is a student from Westmeath and attends Moate Community College.
There were prizes awarded to 20 enterprises overall, which included the categories Innovation Award, Best Display, First and Second Merit Awards for the senior category, IP Awareness Award, Intermediate Categories, Junior Categories and the Social Media Awards.
The young entrepreneurs came up with some brilliant ideas. There were hats for children who, unfortunately, had lost their hair due to chemotherapy, handbags with original Japanese cartoon designs, decorative items made from recyclable materials, a mobile app for checking water, a cook book with pictures to instruct cooking for people with reading disabilities, a heavy duty light board for farm trailers to allow trailers to be more visible to drivers and traffic, and even a device to guide a key to the keyhole.
Well done to Shíofra and her entrepreneur friends!

Leave a Reply

© 1991-2014 Fountain Resource Group Ltd. · Registered Company Number: 193051C · RSS · Website designed by Solid Website Design