Alizhan flies the flag for Wexford
Duncormick schoolboy Alizhan Dietvorst is the only entrant from County Wexford to have made the shortlist for Google Ireland's annual doodle competition which attracted hundreds of entries from all over the country.
The 6th class pupil at St. Anne's national school, Rathangan is now in the running to have his artwork displayed on the Google Ireland homepage as well as receiving a €5,000 college scholarship and a €10,000 technology grant for his school and a Chromebook for himself and his teacher.
That's the prize for the overall winner of the competition in which public voting is continuing online until February 21 with a prize-giving ceremony due to be held on April 3 when the winner will be announced. People are being encouraged to vote for Alizhan whose doodle appears in Group 3 on the Doodle 4 Google website.
The theme this year was 'If I could create anything it would be...' and Alizhan responded with a Google representing a wish for a healthier earth and an end to disease and war. 'The first G is to save the rainforests . The O's are to go from a sick earth to a healthy earth. The second G is the carbon footprint. The L is a needle to represent something against every disease and the E crosses out war to represent peace,' he wrote on his entry.
If he wins, the 12-year old will have his doodle featured on the Google Ireland homepage for 24 hours in April and millions of people will have an opportunity to see it.
Alizhan is a son of Duncormick artists and sheep farmers Els Dietvorst and Orla Barry and in addition to being talented at art is also interested in writing. He is currently writing a book.
His teacher Kevin Murphy and his fellow pupils in St. Anne's school are delighted that he has been shortlisted. 'Everyone is absolutely thrilled for him. He is excellent at art and writing. It would be fantastic for the school if he won. We have all been voting for him,' said a staff member.
A total of 300 semi-finalists were initially chosen by guest judges and from these 75 finalists were selected across five class groups. Five class winners will be chosen and a Google team will pick the winning doodle from these.
The 75 finalists will all be invited to attend the prize-giving ceremony and will each receive a framed copy of their doodle, a personalised t-shirt with a print of the doodle and a Google goody bag.
The winner of each group and their teacher will receive a Chromebook.