When Holidays Collide: Cailini 2017

By Parker Gainsburg, Maxwell Elam and Dylan Bosse
MAR 09, 2017

For the past 43 years, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School (STA) has celebrated the annual week-long tradition known as “Cailini,” which is the Irish word for “girls.” During Cailini week, Raider girls take part in a variety of competitions ranging from gymnastics to baking. According to the official pamphlet, “Cailini was introduced at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in 1975 by Msgr. Kelly and faculty sponsor Jeanne Reinholt. Cailini was created to promote girls’ opportunities for dance and athletic competition as a school activity. At this time, high school sports for girls hardly existed.” Since then, this tradition has grown into one of the most popular amongst STA students.

In this year’s Cailini, the seniors took home the first-place title, followed by the juniors, sophomores, and lastly the freshmen. Each grade put in tremendous effort, and they often scored closely in many of the events. The juniors dominated in their gymnastics routines followed closely by the sophomores. Despite their loss in gymnastics, the freshmen managed to beat the seniors in the volleyball competition. When asked about their volleyball performance, freshman Abigail Goodchild responded “we did our best and proved that we freshmen could still put up a worthy fight.”

Participants spent up to three months preparing for their events, often training together both before and after school. During this time, not only do the girls practice, but they also develop new friendships, as well as teamwork skills. As stated by junior and third-year participant, Gabby Bellido, “The purpose of Cailini is to evoke unity among the girls in the school and it truly does that because through this event I meet new people.” Hopefully in the future, Cailini will continue to bring energy to the school and promote participation in girls’ sports.