Three Kilkenny GAA Players Awarded MBNA GAA Scholarships at NUI Maynooth

Thu 6th Jan Paul Fitzgerald

Three Kilkenny GAA Players Awarded MBNA GAA Scholarships at NUI Maynooth

Sixteen GAA students from NUI Maynooth were presented with prestigious MBNA GAA Scholarships by Bryan Kelly, Business Finance Officer with MBNA Ireland and Professor Tom Collins, President of NUI Maynooth.

*Rebecca Cleere* Club: O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny. Rebecca has played at all levels for her club. She captained her school senior team in 2009/2010. She won five county medals with her club and school. Rebecca has also played Camogie for Kilkenny, winning Leinster and all Ireland medals at under 16. Rebecca coached her club U14 and U16 Camogie Teams.
*Sarah Dunne* Club: St. Brigids, Ballycallan, Co. Kilkenny. Sarah has won Leinster and all Ireland medal at U 14, U16 and minor level with Kilkenny. She has won minor and Under 21 medals with her club Sarah has also been very successful with her school teams winning seven medals in Leinster and all Ireland championships.
*Ryan O’Dwyer* Club: Callan, Co. Kilkenny . Played at all level for his club winning several underage titles Was on U14, U15, U16 & U17 Kilkenny Development squads Played on the Kilkenny minor hurling trial teams. Won a leinster junior colleges hurling championship Ryan is a dual player – the Kilkenny type; he plays golf and hurling He has already represented NUI Maynooth in Freshers and Senior Hurling and Golf.
Since their inception in 1998, the MBNA GAA scholarships have supported over 200 students to achieve their academic and sporting potential. 
Alumni of the programme are from across the country and include an astounding 24 All-Ireland medal winners, 6 All-Star Awards and almost half of the recipients have played Senior inter-county Championship for their county.

 The programme assists talented students to achieve their academic potential while providing access to expert coaching, fitness training, sports psychology, health and nutrition advice, performance analysis and lifestyle management assistance.

On presenting the awards, Mr Bryan Kelly, Business Finance Officer of MBNA Ireland, said:  “We are delighted to recognise the hard work and dedication of these students both on the pitch and in the lecture halls.  Gaelic Games is at the heart of every community the length and breadth of the country and we’re proud to play our part in supporting that tradition and those who are ambassadors for the sport, their clubs and their counties, in NUI Maynooth”.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Professor Tom Collins, President of NUI Maynooth congratulated the sports scholars: The MBNA GAA Scholarships are vitally important for our students and the calibre of recipients reflects the intense competition since they began in 1998.  We are very proud to have MBNA as our longstanding partner and we know that they are committed to GAA and community development through their other partnerships with MBNA Kick Fada and numerous community arts programmes”. 

Previous recipients of these awards include Mark O’Shea (Kerry), Mary Kirwan (Laois), Alan Brogan (Dublin), Helena Lohan (Mayo) and Brianne Leahy (Kildare), Derek Hardiman (Galway), and Claire Donnelly (Dublin).

The MBNA GAA scholarships, which are awarded to students who have the potential to reach a very high level of performance competing at national and international level, provide access to expert coaching, fitness training, sports psychology, health and nutrition advice, performance analysis and lifestyle management assistance.
For further information regarding the sports scholarships offered at NUI Maynooth please see www.nuim.ie/admissions or contact Tom Maher, NUI Maynooth GAA Development Officer, on 01-708 3321.

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