Students and schools to share €60,000 prize fund

Schools and students around the country have just a few weeks left to honour their own local student heroes by submitting an entry to the 2009 Bank of Ireland National Student Awards before the deadline of Friday, 23rd January. With a prize fund of over €60,000, the awards recognise exemplary student performance in six categories- art, sport, entrepreneurial spirit, academic achievement, community spirit and this year’s new category for Group endeavours.

Now in its fourth year as a national competition, Bank of Ireland have committed a total of €240,000 to acknowledge the efforts and talents of secondary school students across the country. The 2009 national finalists will each receive €1,500 and an additional €3,000 for their school. From these, one student will be chosen as the overall national winner and will be awarded a total cash prize of €4,500 plus €8,000 for their nominating school. All entries for the first stage of the competition must be received by the deadline of Friday, 23rd January 2009.

Commenting on the awards, Nikki Corbett, Consumer Banking, Bank of Ireland, said “As the January deadline approaches we are calling on all schools and students to submit their entries immediately. Participation levels continue to increase this year with the West of Ireland once again submitting the highest number of entries. These awards are a fantastic way for students and schools to commend their own local heroes and are proven to encourage and motivate such achievers in future years. However, there are schools across the country who have submitted no entries and are missing out on a great opportunity to commend worthy students and receive a cash prize for both the student and the school.”

Bank of Ireland is also pleased to announce that the judging panel this year includes Helen Keogh, CEO World Vision Ireland; Vanessa Tierney, CEO School of Sales; Colum O’Sullivan from Cully and Sully Food Company; Irish artist Guggi; Colin Moran, Dublin Gaelic Football Team; Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny Hurling team; Lieutenant General Dermot Earley, Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces; Ciaran Murray, Chief Executive of the Ballymun Regeneration Project; Jim D’arcy, Headmaster of the Fifth Form College, Institute of Education; Martin Dunn of the Kippure Adventure Centre; Sean Larkin from NCAD and John Waters from the Irish Times.