Corballa NS pupil Ciara Cowley’s salmon design to be brought to life by Ballina Costume Company for 2023
With just under 300 days until Ballina’s year of celebration kicks off, the winning entry for the Ballina 2023 Mascot Makers competition has been revealed. The winning entry was designed by Ciara Cowley, a sixth class student in Corballa National School and will be brought to life to appear at the many events and celebrations throughout the year.
Entry forms were distributed to over 60 primary schools in the Ballina hinterlands, and the Ballina 2023 committee was overwhelmed with the enthusiastic response, as thousands of colourful and imaginative entries flooded in from national schools around the region.
After a detailed judging process, Ciara’s intricate salmon, named ‘Moy’ stood out and was deemed to perfectly encapsulate Ballina’s world-famous reputation as the official Salmon Capital of Ireland. Ciara’s design also reflected the richness of community life in Ballina, which is beautifully represented through carefully selected motifs on the salmon’s scales.
Anne-Marie Flynn, Board Member of Ballina 2023 said: “The children of the area were challenged to design a distinctive character that would appear at the year’s events and entertain people, but would also communicate important messages about the values and purpose of the event. Ciara’s beautiful design reflects one of the strong themes emerging from all our conversations around Ballina 2023 – the need to celebrate the many diverse things that make Ballina such a great community in which to live.”
As winner of the Mascot Maker Competition, Ciara and her class will receive prizes kindly sponsored by Toymaster Ballina and Eason Ballina.
The mascot design is now in the process of being adapted by Jane Crean of Ballina Costume Company and will be brought to life over the coming weeks, ready to appear at Ballina 2023 events throughout the year.
An exhibition of some of the many entries is being planned for Ballina over the Easter period, where families and friends can enjoy the creativity of the designs of all the children who entered.
Meanwhile, the feedback and event suggestions provided by children on their entry forms is being compiled and analysed as part of Ballina 2023’s planning and plays an important part in the community engagement process.