The Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) presented its 2017 third-level scholarships on Tuesday 28th February at The Kilashee Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare. A total of 32 scholarships have been awarded to third-level students across multiple colleges who play intercounty Camogie and Ladies Football. This is the third year of scholarships presented by the WGPA, which now represents over 1,300 members.
The scholarship scheme recognises the efforts of our members in pursuing a dual career, enabling them to focus their attention on taking opportunities for ongoing personal and professional development whilst striving for excellence as athletes. With the workload and commitment given to studies and their sport, it can be difficult for students to support themselves, so the aim of the scholarship programme is to help players balance the demands of being a student and an athlete.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students both feature among the recipients from 20 counties, including Cork’s Doireann O’Sullivan, Kilkenny star Edwina Keane, Niamh Mallon of Down and Tipperary’s attacking ace Aisling Moloney.
Speaking at the launch, WGPA Chair Aoife Lane highlighted the importance of the balance required for student athletes and developing a dual career. ‘A big focus for us this year has been high performance and the university setting provides valuable opportunities for players to take themselves to that level, both on and off the field. The commitment our players now give to their sport is reflected in the new government funding rolling out for intercounty panels, which recognizes players as elite athletes. However, this effort should never be at the expense of getting the best education possible. We always want to encourage players to have that balance between their sport, academics and life as a student. These scholarships aim to make that process a little easier and we’re delighted to be able to offer this support.’
20 players were awarded through the WGPA scholarship scheme as follows:
A further 12 scholarships have been generously supported by our partners in education ICON plc and were presented to members studying in the field of life sciences: