55 Awards Made to Intercounty Players Across 37 Squads

The Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) presented its 2020 Third-Level Scholarships on Monday 10thFebruary at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin. The scheme has grown annually and this year is the largest to date, with a total of 55 scholarships awarded to third-level students across 18 colleges who play intercounty Camogie and Ladies Football.

The WGPA scholarship programme includes support from global clinical development company ICON plc and the Irish American Partnership. It recognises the efforts of members in pursuing a dual career and aims to mitigate some of the pressures of time, workload and commitment, enabling them to take opportunities for personal and professional development and strive for excellence as athletes.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students both feature among the recipients from 37 squads across 26 counties, across all grades of Ladies Football and Camogie, including 4 dual players. The number of applicants and feedback from the players each year indicates the popularity of the programme. Support is provided through the WGPA and 2 education partners; ICON plc, who contribute towards players studying Life Science subjects and the Irish American Partnership (IAP) is also funding players who are pursuing careers in education.

WGPA Chair Maria Kinsella, welcomed scholars and guests to the presentation ceremony saying “On behalf of the WGPA, I’m delighted to welcome everyone here to what is our sixth annual scholarship ceremony and one of the best days in our calendar. It’s a privilege to be among some of the brightest and best in our games from such a diverse background and reaffirms our aim to recognise all members equally.

I also want to sincerely thank ICON and Irish American Partnership for their backing and belief in these players. The programme exists to serve our members as top-level amateur athletes and help them reach their potential both on and off the field of play; the support of our two education partners is invaluable in providing recognition to the role of the scholars.

We’re proud to be able to celebrate the outstanding commitment of our student members but also to pay tribute to their friends and family who have joined us here today. College life can be a difficult transition to manage and your support helps to make that journey a little easier. On behalf of all our student players, we extend our gratitude. As always, we encourage members to maintain a healthy balance between their sport, studies and personal development during their time as a student, and most of all to enjoy it and leave with a lifetime of good memories.”

The programme is open to all qualifying WGPA members and successful applicants receive a bursary to alleviate some of the financial pressures and time constraints faced by student players, including missed work opportunities and commuting costs. Factors such as a player’s personal circumstances, playing status, additional roles and responsibilities, and WGPA engagement are taken into account when shortlisting. This contribution supplements the ongoing player development programmes available to WGPA members including personal coaching and careers advice.

Players were awarded through the WGPA scholarship scheme as follows:

Róisín Ambrose, Limerick Dual Katie Kehoe, Offaly Football
Muireann Atkinson, Monaghan Football Karen Kennedy, Tipperary Camogie
JoanneBarrett, Tyrone Football Eimear Loughman, Tipperary Camogie
Amy Boyle Carr, Donegal Football Blaithin Mackin, Armagh Football
Anna Breen, Carlow Camogie Niamh Hegarty, Kildare Camogie
Neasa Byrd, Cavan Football Jackie Horgan, Kerry Camogie
Eimear Byrne, Louth Football Dearbhla Magee, Down Camogie
Danielle Caldwell, Mayo Football Aine Mc Nerney, Meath Camogie
Beth Carton, Waterford Camogie Sorcha McCartan, Down Camogie
Christine Cleary, Offaly Camogie Caoimhe McGrath, Waterford Dual
Niamh Cotter, Cork Football Aoibhinn McHugh, Tyrone Football
Rosemary Courtney, Monaghan Football Aishling Moloney, Tipperary Football
Ailbhe Davoren, Galway Football Danielle Morrissey, Kilkenny Camogie
Rebecca Delee, Limerick Camogie Erin Murphy, Fermanagh Football
Rachel Dillon, Westmeath Football Clíodhna Ní Shé, Carlow Football
Emma Dineen,Kerry Football Gráinne Nolan, Clare Football
Jennifer Dunne, Dublin Football Ceire Nolan, Louth Football
Niamh Feeney, Roscommon Football Saoirse Noonan, Cork Football
Chloe Fennell, Waterford Football Hannah O’Donoghue, Kerry Football
Rebecca Finan, Roscommon Football Aoife O’Malley, Westmeath Camogie
Catherine Finnerty, Galway Camogie Aine O’Connor, Kerry Camogie
RachelFitzmaurice, Roscommon Dual Eilis Ronayne, Mayo Football
Niamh Forker, Armagh Camogie Rachel Sawyer, Carlow Dual
Aoife Gorman, Wicklow Football Meadbh Scally, Westmeath Camogie
Tiarná Grimes, Armagh Football Eimear Smyth, Fermanagh Football
Ciara Grogan, Clare Camogie Laura Stack, Limerick Camogie
Anna Healy, Laois Football Mairéad Teehan, Offaly Camogie
Vikki Wall, Meath Football