PUPILS from St Peter's College Dunboyne have become the first recipients of a new international award – the Pelé Peace Medal – following a presentation at Tallaght children's hospital last Mondarecy.
The awards ceremony, presided over by legendary TV and radio commentator Jimmy Magee, saw 12 third-year pupils and their teacher Leanne Conroy receive the medal, inspired by the legendary Brazilian soccer player Pelé, patron of the Little Prince Hospital, Brazil, which is twinned with the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght.
Also in attendance was Dr José Alvaro da Silva Carneiro, chief executive of the Little Prince Hospital complex, who travelled from Brazil for the occasion, which was hosted by Eílish Hardiman, Tallaght Hospital chief executive.
The Pelé Peace Medal initiative is backed and supported by the Football Association of Ireland, and FAI president Paddy McCaul was in attendance at the presentation of the first set of medals to pupils from the Co Meath college.
The medal is being awarded to Irish people – and secondary schools in particular – who support the work of the Little Prince Hospital and the National Children's Hospital and who commit to four important goals inspired by the four letters of Pelé's name, known as the Pelé Credo: P (peace), E (environment), L (love) and E (energy). Also presented is a certificate of commendation.
Pelé dedicated his 1,000th goal – scored in 1969 – to the children of Brazil, and worldwide, schools, clubs and groups comprising 20 or more individuals are asked to raise funds to help him accomplish his dream.
To be awarded the medal and certificate, each young person must:
1. Take action to achieve at least one of the goals in Pelé's Credo.
2. Raise at least €50 for medical research at the Pelé Little Prince Research Institute and for children's medical care at the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght.
3. Write a letter to Pelé about their involvement in the Pelé Peace Medal Project.
Each medal is numbered and a list of all recipients will be kept at the Little Prince Hospital in Curitiba, Brazil. Letters to Pelé will also form part of the archive.
Schools and groups interested in participating in the Pelé Peace Medal Project should contact Don Mullan at email@example.com or Madeline O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org