The City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB) Sports and Cultural Council (SCC) is a unique body in the Irish Vocational Educational system. Founded 75 years ago, in 1935, the City of Dublin Education and Training Board’s Sports and Cultural Council promotes and co-ordinates inter-school sporting and cultural events for the 12,000 students in the CDETB’s 22 schools and colleges, as well as, in the Prison Service. Membership of the council is open to all students, including adults, enrolled in whole time day courses. Students are provided with an extensive programme of activities that range from Boxing to Public Speaking, with various competitions, festivals and exhibitions organised by 27 sub-committees.
The aims of the SCC are to educate, organise, promote and encourage our students to develop their abilities through participating in a wide range of sporting and cultural events. In its own unique way, the SCC meets the needs of the CDETB students, young/old, male/female, Irish/non Irish, by encouraging participation for all. It is a model that works well having adapted and changed throughout its long history, to meet the ever changing and diverse needs of our students.
The SCC has a Central Executive Committee of four officers who have overall responsibility for the running of the council. Each event and activity has a sub-committee staffed by volunteer teachers. School management too, plays its part in releasing teachers to organise events or, to prepare and look after school teams. However, at the heart of the SCC are a core of volunteer teachers who always have given freely of their time to organise our events. As a result, we are constantly on the look-out for new volunteers to join our ranks. The CDETB is also fully supportive of our council and has assisted us in numerous ways.
As regards facilities to run our events, we have extensive sports grounds at Whitehall and Terenure which are used for field games. All CDETB schools have either a gymnasium or sports hall which is available to the SCC. We welcome the three new sports halls in Ballyfermot, Crumlin and Inchicore which have recently come on stream because of Drugs Task Force funding. Venues such as the National Athletics Stadium and the National Basketball Arena are used to enhance the sense of occasion and prestige for competition finals. Through the good offices of our CDETB committee, we have, on occasion, used the Mansion House and the Dublin City Council offices for a number of our cultural events. For the future, we are actively campaigning for a Performing Arts centre.
As part of the philosophy of the SCC, we see our programmes of activity not only complimenting the curriculum, but also enhancing what goes on in our classrooms. With the increase in crime and anti-social behaviour, the further development of extra curricular activities is essential. By helping to develop a sense of commitment, discipline and team spirit among our students, we believe that it will have a positive effect on their own lives, their school and society as a whole.