NUI Galway is to reward elite athletes with 40 CAO Performance Points in recognition of their skill, time and dedication in reaching the highest level of their chosen sport. This is an extension of NUI Galway’s current Elite Athlete Scholarship scheme which includes a subsistence grant, performance supports, gym membership and medical support.
The scheme will award 40 Performance Points to a limited number of athletes applying for undergraduate courses, who meet strict criteria in a number of identified sports. The points will be added to a minimum requirement of 350 CAO Points from a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate in 6 subjects. The closing date for applications is Monday 31 March.
President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said, “NUI Galway has a long and proud tradition of sporting success. Our success has fuelled our ambition. We aim to be leaders in research, innovation and learning and as a university we are proud to support the next generation of elite athletes as their ambition and dedication leads them to sporting success.”
NUI Galway Elite sports officer Gary Ryan said, “NUI Galway has produced and supported leaders in sport for many years. The Performance Points Scheme will broaden the horizon of achievement both for NUI Galway and for the athletes themselves, and we have the facilities, structure and supports in place to help athletes achieve their goals, both academic and sporting.”
Robbie Henshaw, member of Ireland’s Six Nations squad is a second year arts student. Speaking at the launch of the Performance Points Scheme, he said, “Performing at the highest level means you can’t take your eye of the ball, so it’s great to see NUI Galway rewarding elite athletes for their dedication through this scheme. University support like this allows you to concentrate on getting the best results both on and off the pitch.”
Twelve current and former NUI Galway Sports Scholarship students were part of Clare’s 2013 All Ireland winning panel, with other scholarship students enjoying similar levels of success; Des Leonard, World Junior Champion and World Senior Silver medallist in Kickboxing 2011 and 2012; Seamus Hennessy, All-Ireland winner with Tipperary and Rising Star award winner 2010; Niall Burke and Joseph Cooney, Galway All-Ireland Hurling Final 2012; Carol Staunton, Irish Women’s team at the World Rugby Cup in 2010 and many more exceptional athletes.
Applicants will be selected through an application form and interview process. The assessment will be based on sporting achievement and potential as well as evidence of their academic achievement and commitment. The successful candidates will then receive a conditional offer of the 40 performance points in May prior to the Leaving Certificate and CAO changes.
The ‘Performance Points’ athletes will receive similar benefits to those enjoyed by the current NUI Galway Elite Athlete scholarship scheme. Benefits will include a subsistence grant, performance supports, gym membership and medical support. Supports will be provided for the duration of the undergraduate degree of the successful candidates as per the terms and conditions of the NUI Galway athlete’s charter and will be reviewed on an annual basis.
The scheme will only apply to new entrants applying for full-time undergraduate courses at NUI Galway. Applicants must be under 21-years of age on 1 April in the year of application and only sports whose national governing body is recognised by the Irish Sports Council will be considered.
For further details see www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarships_info.html.