Applications are now open for sports scholarships at IT Sligo. More than €50,000 will be allocated by the Institute this year to support students who work to excel in their chosen area of sport.
Every year the Institute awards scholarships to over 20 students, supporting sports men and women who reach for the stars both on and off the pitch.
Next year’s beneficiaries, who must apply before the end of September, will be following in the footsteps of players who have excelled across a range of sports.
Not surprisingly given Sligo’s growing reputation as a haven for surfing, IT Sligo has been blazing a trail on the tides and among this year’s scholarship recipients was Ronan Oertzen from Belfast who recently took gold at the 2011 the Irish Student National Surf Championships.
Sligo GAA was well represented among this year’s roll call also with senior players Keelan Cawley and Jonathan Kelly from Ballintrillick, while All-Ireland Dublin champion Kim Flood and Leitrim county player Dermott Reynolds were also among the beneficiaries.
While the college has a proud record of three Sigerson Cup wins over a decade and a plethora of GAA and soccer trophies, President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott says the scholarship scheme is designed to attract skilled performers from many areas of sport.“IT Sligo has a very proud tradition and achievement in sport and we encourage and support our students to participate in, and to excel at, their chosen sport in every way we can. To that end, we have invested over €2 million in our sports facilities in the last two years and students now have the benefit of flood lit playing pitches, an astro turf facility, an international standard running track and the fully equipped Knocknarea Arena. Whether it’s taking part for recreational or competitive purposes, we encourage our students to get active and to get involved.”
Joe Cox, chairman of the Sports Scholarship Committee said the scheme was set up to foster excellence on the sports field and to illustrate that the college was about more than academic success. Successful students enjoy top class facilities and coaching while they in turn represent the IT on and off the field.
“The bench mark is quite high,” explained Mr Cox. “In fact it is a self fulfilling prophesy because when talented young people see our students performing at national and county level , they are attracted to the college”.
Beneficiaries of the scheme are expected to be ambassadors for the college, not least by representing IT Sligo in their sport. The scholarships will be worth a total of €50,000 in the coming year with individual students getting payments of up to €1,750. Scholarships are awarded on a yearly basis but they can be repeated.
Scholarship winners from the class of 2010-2011 include three from Co Sligo who have excelled in the boxing ring – Maria Faney from Ballinacarrow and brothers John and Conor Tighe from Ballymote . Soccer fans were well represented this year with scholarship going to Danny Keohane from Ballyshannon, Darragh Healy Ballisodare and Keith Nibbs from Sligo . Orla Devaney a native of Riverstown Co Sligo was among those flying the flag for ladies’ soccer at the Institute.
For more information on how to apply for a sports scholarship at IT Sligo click here or telephone 071-91 37369. The closing date for receipt of applications in September 30th.
Image Caption Above: Sports Scholarship recipient Orla Devaney with Professor Terri Scott.