Mayo veteran Barry Moran and Down footballer Conor McGinn are the latest inter-county players to be awarded scholarships for the prestigious DCU Business School MBA.
The pair were formally announced at a function in DCU earlier today and follow in the footsteps of recent DCU Business School/GPA MBA scholarship recipients like Fermanagh’s Chris Breen, Leitrim’s Rob Lowe, Westmeath’s David O’Shaughnessy and Dublin duo Coman Goggins and Barry Cahill.
As well as the two MBA scholarship recipients, four other inter-county players were also recognised with Dublin hurler Cian Boland (MSc Digital Marketing), Waterford dual player Donal Breathnach and Sligo footballer Cian Breheny, both MSc Business Management, all awarded Masters scholarships.
Six inter-county players in total were awarded scholarships on this year’s DCU Business School Masters Scholarship Programme including Dublin ladies’ footballer Leah Caffrey, fresh from All-Ireland senior success last month.
Leah becomes the second WGPA scholarship recipient, following Meath’s Niamh Lister in 2015. Leah’s scholarship is jointly funded by DCU Business School and Women’s GPA and she will undertake an MSc in Business Management.
The six inter-county players being awarded scholarships will bring to 31 the total of GPA members who have benefited from the scholarship programme over the last eight years.
Other notable graduates include Roscommon’s Tadhg Lowe, Leitrim’s Donal Wrynn, Kilkenny hurling star Richie Hogan, Dublin’s Denis Bastick and James McCarthy and former All-Ireland winners Jason Sherlock (Dublin) and Justin McNulty (Armagh).
“We are delighted to be associated with DCU,” said GPA CEO Dermot Earley speaking yesterday to Sport for Business.
“The GPA places a great premium on personal development of players and the opportunities that education, in particular, can put their way.”
“24 of the players involved in this year’s All Ireland had a connection to DCU, and that serves both us and the College.”
Earley is personally invested in the benefits of Leadership learning through the GAA and Foróige course honouring his Father which has now expanded to a number of counties across the country and offers a valuable introduction to the principles and the real world application of leadership qualities to students aged between 15 and 17.
“The players coming in add a real dynamic to the classroom and the discipline required to balance their different commitments at club, county, personal and learning level is incredible,” added Donal O’Brien from the DCU Business School.
“It’s an academic scholarship as opposed to a sporting one though some of these players have come through to involve themselves with the GAA here in coaching and playing roles. They integrate fully into college life which is great for them and for the other students.”
“We are delighted to welcome our 8th intake of DCU Business School/GPA scholars and particularly to welcome our second WGPA player to DCU Business School,” said Dean of the DCU Business School Professor Anne Sinnott.
“Many of our previous scholarship recipients have achieved great success in their programmes, their careers and on the playing field and we are very proud of them. The GPA/WPA scholars join our world-class programmes along with students from around the world and will no doubt contribute enormously to these programmes.”
“DCU is a wonderful supporter of ladies football and camogie players and recognises the need to support these players in their academic endeavours,” added Aoife Lane, Chairperson of the WGPA.”
“This scholarship shows their commitment to furthering the opportunities available for elite female athletes in Gaelic games, and adds to the WGPA education support programme that is available to all members.”
The Gaelic Players Association and a host of education institutions including Trinity College, Ulster University, DCU and Griffith College 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