Roscommon CBS Break Guinness World Record for Autism Awareness month

The CBS Roscommon has decided to go one step further with this year’s Autism Awareness Month by attempt breaking a Guinness world record yesterday (Friday April 5th). The CBS Roscommon – which also incorporates the Edmund Rice Autism Centre –  displayed the world’s largest blue ribbon on their football pitch yesterday.  The ribbon which measures 1555 square metres  smashed the record which had previously held in Dubai. The process was monitored and recorded by Guinness World Record officials as well as independent adjudicators and engineers, and local Gardai. The reason behind the world record attempt was to raise awareness about the specific needs of those with ASD,  and to encourage organisations everywhere – particularly sports facilities and gyms – to provide Autism Friendly facilities and experiences. 

The Edmund Rice Centre at the CBS Roscommon was shortlisted earlier this year for a CARA – a National Inclusion Award  – for enhancing participation in Sport and Physical Activity amongst those with special needs. The Centre has been hugely proactive in getting the local community on board. The Edmund Rice Centre has been working with local sports facilities  and gyms in providing ASD friendly experiences.  ‘ The Edmund Rice Centre aims to equip each student with the knowledge, competence and skills necessary to participate in sport and physical activity on an on-going basis. Exercise and physical activity is a key life-skill for everyone, especially for those with ASD’. Students have worked with trainers and mentors in helping them build exercise into their everyday lives.  

The school is also unique in that it provides students with opportunities to access mainstream education in their chosen subjects, as well as availing of the resources available in the new, purpose built facility. It places ASD at the heart of the school and has ensured that the entire school community is educated on autism and the particular challenges it can present. 

A Transition Year student within the school also won a BT Young Scientist award this year with his project ‘Are students from national schools with autism centres more empathetic to students with ASD units’. He found that having an ASD unit creates an inclusive atmosphere within a school, but also that students attending schools with ASD units are less likely to define their classmates by ASD, seeing them instead as individuals and friends with a wide variety of qualities and characteristics. 

Overall, the school is eager to show that Autism Awareness is hugely important in helping to  look beyond the label of ASD. Autism Awareness helps those with ASD integrate fully with their community and to break down the myths and assumptions associated with ASD.


Pictures courtesy of Gerard Guthrie