'Education is a vital cog in the wheel of the development of players,' explains Dr Aoife Lane
Members of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) and Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) are now eligible to apply for a fully funded master’s degree of their choice at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), thanks to the extension of an agreement between the IoT and sporting bodies.
The progressive partnership, which builds upon a memorandum of understanding signed in 2018, is intended to provide GPA and WGPA players with the skills they need to progress their careers and ensure they continue to thrive both on and off the field of play.
“We have [had] a number of scholarship announcements in recent weeks and we’re delighted to be able to continue that trend in Athlone,” said Ciarán Barr, head of finance and operations for the GPA, at the launch of this year’s programme.
“AIT has been a big supporter of inter-county players and we’re delighted to be able to extend that relationship. These scholarships will have a hugely positive impact on the lives of players.”
This was a sentiment echoed by Dr Aoife Lane, who heads the Department of Sport and Health Science at AIT. “We recognise the positive influence elite sports people can have on the wider college environment and are proud to support inter-county players with this announcement," she said.
“Education is a vital cog in the wheel of the development of players. It helps them to be the best they can be off the pitch as well as on it. We’re delighted to continue this relationship with the GPA and WGPA.”
Westmeath footballer Rachel Dillon and Offaly camogie player Mairéad Teehan – both postgraduate students at AIT – were among those who attended the launch, as was Kieran Martin, a Westmeath footballer and GAA development officer for AIT.
Four scholarships are currently on offer to members of the GPA and WGPA across AIT’s full suite of taught master’s degree programmes. Download a copy of AIT's postgradute prospectus for the academic year 2020/21. The application process closes on Sunday, 30th August.
Athlone Institute of Technology is a research-led third level institute with an applied, industry-focussed offering, world-class research and development capabilities, and state-of-the-art facilities. Winner of The Sunday Times Institute of the Year 2020 and 2018, AIT is Ireland’s top-ranked institute and is on track to become the country’s next technological university. AIT also tops Ireland’s official league table for research and was listed in U-Multirank’s Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research in 2018 and 2019. For information relating to the institute’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, visit www.ait.ie.