By Michael Gaskin
Unlike many of the other universities in Ireland, Trinity College does not actively recruit young sports stars through the use of a scholarship programme. Instead it awards scholarships solely to those who have already been admitted to Trinity on academic merit. This means that not only is Trinity being represented by some of the best athletes of their generation but also by some of the brightest and most committed men and women the university has to offer.
Awarded on an annual basis, the scholarship requires that students not only have an outstanding ability to compete at the very highest levels of their sport but also a commitment and desire to represent the University in their sport and take an active involvement in their sports club. Since its inception seventeen years ago, the scholarship programme has helped alleviate the financial strain that is placed upon student athletes. They do this in the form of a monetary grant of between €1000 and €2500 that is hoped will enable them to focus on developing their sporting potential while not being burdened with financial worries and the prospect of part-time work.
Further benefits of the scholarship include access to high level fitness training and nutritional workshops. Also provided for the winners of the award are physiological assessment, fitness testing and follow-up training. Depending on performance and commitment to their sport, scholarships can be renewed in subsequent years.
Previous recipients of the scholarship include Nicola Fitzgibbon, who has represented Ireland in Equestrian, Scott LaValla, a former USA U20 rugby captain who recently made his senior debut in this summer’s Churchill Cup, and Ger Cafferkey, a full back on the Mayo senior football team.
Application forms are now available for download at www.tcd.ie/sport; the closing date for applications is Friday 8 October.