STUDENTS from Clonkeen College in Johnstown came first place in the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals last week.
ROC Protection from Clonkeen College won the 1st Place – Overall Category prize in the senior category, in front of more than 500 guests at the awards ceremony in Croke Park.
Carl Cullen, Ross Byrne and Cormac Spain invented a protective base layer for hurlers.
A light durable hurling baselayer to be worn whilst playing hurling, the ROC base layer can be worn under hurling and camogie jerseys and is specially designed to greatly reduce the impact of an on rushing sliotar that could reach speeds over 100m/h; “more than fast enough to break a rib, or even damage a kidney”.
Having appeared on the Late Late show showcasing their product twice in the last year, the ROC lads who are in fifth year and are all just 17-years-old, say they are still developing new products to add to the range.
On coming first place at the Student Enterprise Awards, Cormac Spain told The Gazette that they are “completely delighted”.
“When we won it, it was unbelievable,” they said.
Last year’s winners, JC Learn were also from Clonkeen College so the lads said they are thrilled to have been able to get to the high standard set by their predecessors.
As a hurling goalkeeper himself, Cormac says it was past experience of getting hit that inspired the product.
This year’s Student Enterprise Programme attracted 22,000 student participants from 620 secondary schools around the country.
The year-long programme helps each student to gain the skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business.
“There’s nothing like this on the market so we decided ourselves to make it,” Cormac said.
Congratulating the local students on their award win, Georgina Sweetnam, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown said: “Well done to Carl Cullen, Ross Byrne and Cormac Spain the student entrepreneurs behind the winning business ROC Protection and to their teacher Enda Sheehy from Clonkeen College who gave them great support throughout the programme.”

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