Players and Scholars Given Helping Hand

The Women’s Gaelic Players Association presented its 2019 third-level scholarships on Friday at PwC headquarters in Dublin.

A total of 46 scholarships have been awarded to third-level students across 23 colleges who play intercounty Camogie and Ladies Football.

This is the fourth year of the WGPA scholarship programme, which includes support from global clinical development company ICON plc and, for the first time, the Irish American Partnership.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students both feature among the recipients from 25 counties, across all grades of Ladies Football and Camogie, including 5 dual players.

“It really is a great programme that helps many people each year and I am thrilled to be a recipient,” said Tipperary’s Maria Curley.

“Players want to give as much as they can to their sport and their studies and that’s hard to juggle, but this really helps and it’s fantastic to see it growing.”

The launch was a first official event in her new role for recently elected WGPA Chair Maria Kinsella, who also works as an audit manager in PWC and plays football with the Carlow Ladies team.

“This is a fantastic celebration of all that is good about our players; the pursuit of excellence, an appetite for hard work, relentless dedication, unwavering commitment combined with the determination to become the best version of yourself,” she told an audience of 100 on the day.

“We aim to encourage and support all our members to maximise their potential and maintain a healthy balance between their sport, studies and personal development during their time as a student. I hope these scholarships make that journey a little easier.”

“In recent months, we have witnessed a growing appetite for and interest in female sports in this country. This increased exposure has yet to fully translate to an increase in resources; I encourage you all, as young, smart, talented players to continue to question and challenge the status quo in order to keep raising the standards for all female GAA athletes across the country.”

“I want to thank ICON, Irish American Partnership and PWC for their backing and belief in the potential of these players. The clear correlation between collegiate athleticism and business success, shown in several studies, indicates many of these scholars will go on to be successful leaders in their respective industries. Thanks to your support, we’re helping the best in our games to be the best of themselves.”

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 part-time work opportunities and the commuting costs associated with studying away from home. The contribution supplements the ongoing development of players through services such as careers advice, personal development coaching and leadership programme.

Image Credit Sam Barnes, Sportsfile

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