A motion for resources to be allocated from the Higher Education Authority [HEA] fund to introduce Wheelchair Fencing in Trinity passed this evening at Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Council.
The motion was proposed by James Nicholas Bryant, Strategy Officer for Dublin University Fencing Club [DUFC], and seconded by Laura Beston, Officer for Students with Disabilities.
The initiative will require a total of €17,497.79 in funding, with the proposal suggesting that it would cost approximately €11,397.79 to establish wheelchair fencing in Trinity. This figure includes fees for equipment, coaching, training and wheelchairs. The proposal also states that a further €6,100 would be required to acquire additional pistes and equipment “necessary to significantly expand the service offered”.
Bryant outlined his desire to “stress that the HEA fund was set up due to mismanagement of funding by colleges” and designed for spending on capital expenditure for students. He stressed that it was “separate from the discussion on [TCDSU’s] budget”, which featured in Council discussions this evening.
TCDSU President Shane De Rís also spoke in favour of the motion, outlining that “great projects have come out of the HEA project” and that “by Trinity taking the lead on this we can empower so many other people with disabilities”.
According to the proposal, the introduction of the sport would establish Trinity as Ireland’s only center for Wheelchair Fencing.
Included in the proposal were statements from Declan Treanor, Director of the Disability Service; Martin McAndrew, Postgraduate Student Support Officer; and Aidan Kavanagh, Dublin University Central Athletic Club (DUCAC) Administrator, who each expressed their support for the initiative.
According to Trinity’s Disability Services, 1364 students with disabilities in the were registered during the 2016/2017 academic year.
Council took place this evening in the Stanley Quek theatre in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) building.