The Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) announced the first graduate business scholarship programme for both male and female county GAA players at a launch event at Waterford Institute of Technology’s Carriganore Sports Campus today.
The School of Business at WIT are providing four scholarships on the Institute’s flagship Master of Business Administration (MBA) or on one of the streams on the Master of Business Studies (MBS), two for GPA members and two for members of the recently formed WGPA
Speaking about the programme, Dr Tom O’Toole, Head of the School of Business said: “High level sports achievement and business are intrinsically linked. The dedication to excellence of the women and men Gaelic players is legendary and we are delighted to announce this initiative to support our national amateur sports people on this unique occasion.”
According to Aoife Lane, “As Chairperson of the WGPA and lecturer in the Department of Health Sport and Exercise Science, I have ample reason to be proud of this collaboration between the GPA, WGPA and WIT. Since the WGPA launch in January, we have been working to build opportunities for our members to support their development off the field, we are firmly behind the player in their efforts to achieve in life and in sport. Third level county players are a particularly important group who are under pressure to progress with their academic studies while managing sporting commitments.
“We recently awarded 12 scholarships to members studying at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and this opportunity through the School of Business in WIT is a welcome addition to our education programme. Third level college GAA clubs are traditionally ‘one club’ environments with equal opportunities and treatment for males and female players. It is great to see that this ethos is being extended to the roll out of a Masters Programme for county players in WIT that will hopefully be replicated across other third level institutions.”
GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell added: “The GPA is committed to supporting the education of our players and we are absolutely delighted that the School of Business at WIT will now provide these life-changing opportunities to a number of GPA members in the South East region. WIT and the GPA share a common goal as development partners for our student players – to support them to be their personal best, through education and enhanced career possibilities. The GPA aims to expand the Masters Programme nationally and we are grateful to WIT for taking the next step in that process by establishing this exciting new programme in Waterford.”
The Executive MBA at Waterford Institute of Technology will help graduates to develop skills and learn concepts that will accelerate their careers and serve them throughout their professional lives.
WIT is signed up to the athlete friendly institution protocol. The Institute has a fantastic support system for players including a scholarship service that is delivered by Ursula Jacob, current Wexford Camogie player and a mentoring service led by Noel Connors, current Waterford hurler, that helps students to manage their various study and playing commitments.
WIT is a member of GPA’s National Network of Elite Athlete Friendly Educational Institutions, a pilot scheme consisting of a network of colleges adopting the GPA’s guiding principles within their policies and/or systems to support elite athletes to achieve academic excellence. See
•Olive O’Connor. 087 9870011 or firstname.lastname@example.org
•Seán Potts, Head of Communications Gaelic Players Association
(e) email@example.com, (t) 01-8575686, (m) 0863971859