New STAR project to encourage young soccer talent

Run by TAP, in conjunction with the Shamrock Rovers and Trinity Sport, the project seeks to foster education and sporting development

A new initiative founded by the Trinity Access Programme (TAP), run in conjunction with the Shamrock Rovers and Trinity Sport, seeks to foster educational and sporting development among students from Tallaght and the inner city through providing a number of opportunities to engage with college life.

The year-long Sporting Talent and Academic Rewards (STAR) project is due to launch this week, as 100 6th class students take part in a football tournament on the grounds of Trinity from today, Monday April 3, through to Wednesday April 5.

The final day of encourage them to continue the tournament will see RTÉ football pundit Richie Sadlier host a presentation for all participants, with guest appearances from Damien Duff (Shamrock Rovers Academy Coach), Stephen McPhail (Shamrock Rovers Sporting Director), and John O’Sullivan (Carlisle United).

Sadlier, who is also a practising psychotherapist and mental health advocate, hopes the project will work to support students’ mental health as well as instilling a positive impression of academic life. “I’m delighted to be involved in a project that aims to support the educational, sporting and personal development of young people. Everyone involved is determined to make it a huge success, and hopefully similar initiatives will be rolled out everywhere in years to come.”

By allowing secondary school students the opportunity to engage with university life, the project aims to increasing third-level participation rates in disadvantaged areas. Through utilising students’ sporting aspirations, the STAR project, which will begin piloting in September, hopes to illustrate that universities can help them in achieving their goals.

Shamrock Rovers Chairman Jonathan Roche further added: “Shamrock Rovers are delighted and honoured to partner with Trinity College […] It is vitally important for us that kids are educated both on and off the pitch. This programme will show kids the importance of education and that football and education can go hand in hand.”

Niamh Moriarty

Niamh is a Senior Freshman Political Science, Philosophy and Economics student. She is current digital editor for Trinity News.