Irish Paralympic swimmer, Ellen Keane, is amongst ten sportspeople across a range of sports that have been recruited to the Sky Sports Scholarship Programme.
The Programme will run from 2017 Through to 2020 and enable the young sporting stars to benefit from a range of financial, training and mentoring elements.
The 22-year-old from Clontarf was at Sky Ireland’s headquarters yesterday talking to media about her inclusion in the programme and her ambitions to make the podium at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in three years’ time.
On Tuesday, October 24th Sport for Business will carry an exclusive chat with Ellen covering her life outside the pool.
Next year will also be an important one for Ellen as Ireland prepares to host the Paralympic Swimming European Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.
Earlier this week Allianz was unveiled as the title partner for this event which will go head to head with the Pope’s planned visit to Ireland next August.
“I’m really delighted to have been selected for the new Sky Sports Scholarship programme,” said Keane.
“In Ireland, the Paralympics is still a growing sport so I’m hoping that on top of helping me with my sporting goals, that Sky, as a well-known and established brand, will help grow Paralympic sport in Ireland and help show what Paralympic sport is all about, not just in Ireland, but all over the world.”
“My sporting ambition is to make the podium again in Tokyo but I’m really excited to grow as an athlete and as a person under the Sky Sports Scholarship programme.”
The third Sky Sports Scholarship Programme has also opened its doors to athletes from a greater range of sports and for the first time includes scholars specialising in tennis, modern pentathlon and climbing. Each of the scholars has a different and exciting story, and Sky will closely support them as they take the next steps on their journey.
“We’re delighted to be able to support Ellen as she sets her sights on Tokyo,” said JD Buckley, Sky Ireland Managing Director and who will himself be part of the mentoring team for Keane.
“We’ve seen how the Sky Sports Scholarship Programme has helped other Irish athletes including Katie Taylor and Mark English, both outstanding sportspeople in their respective sports and we look forward to helping Ellen, not just from a financial point of view, but personally also as she continues to grow as a world class athlete.”
“Sky has been a tremendous support throughout my career,” said Taylor who Keane has yet to meet in person.
“It began with the Scholarship programme supporting me on my journey to an Olympic gold medal in 2012. It is amazing to see how far it has come since I was a scholar and how Sky are able to use all their tools to help and propel young athletes. I wish all of the new scholars the best of luck and know they will enjoy being part of the Sky family.”
Paralympics Ireland and Swim Ireland are among the more than 230 groups that play an active part in the Sport for Business community.
Sport for Business features regular interviews and events with our members providing exclusive insight on the relationships that work best for sport and business.
Image Credit: Sportsfile / Matt Brown