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Cork Independent


CIT sports stars awarded

Wednesday, 29th November, 2017 5:21pm

All-Ireland winners, gold medalists and a professional boxer were among the 104 students who received bursaries at CIT this week.

The Sports Scholarship Presentation took place at Nexus Hall in CIT's Student Centre where 23 sports were represented while the guest speaker, five time All-Ireland winner and Kerry footballing legend Colm 'Gooch' Cooper, made the presentations to the students.

The scholarships are allocated annually to the students who display a high level of achievement in their chosen sport. Of the 104 students recognised, there was 56 fresher/development bursaries, 35 senior, 12 Munster Council GAA bursaries and one Jonathan Healy scholarship.

Although Cooper acknowledged he had endured a particularly difficult 24 hours on Leeside after his club, reigning All-Ireland champions Dr Croke, lost the Munster Final to Nemo Rangers on Sunday, he said he was delighted to be in attendance. “It’s a privilege to be here, there is a close tie with CIT and Kerry as many of our players have played with the the college down through the years. There is an outstanding set of facilities in the college, and I have to say, I am somewhat envious of the students in the room.

“I am coming towards the end of my career but you are all just beginning. This is an exciting time for all of you, there are some top class players here and I look forward to watching your careers develop in the years ahead. I can only hope that you all get as much enjoyment out of sport that I have and that you all wear the CIT badge with pride when you represent the college.”

Ironically, Cooper presented Kevin O'Donovan, the Nemo Rangers player who had marked him the match, with a bursary!

Among the other students recognised was All-Ireland camogie winner Amy Lee who won the O'Duffy Cup in 2015 and 2017 with Cork, along with her colleague Rachel O'Shea who was also a winner in 2017. Fresh from her FAI Cup win with Cork City Women's FC in the Aviva Stadium, Kate O'Donovan was one of 16 soccer recipients while Irish senior international basketballer Amy Waters was one of ten basketball recipients.

Gold medallist at the Irish Universities Athletics Association, Andrea Lisa Bickerdike and 400m gold medal winner at Under 23 level Daniel O'Mahony were two of six athletics scholars while golfer Gary Ward hugely impressed when he won the 2017 All-Ireland championship.

Fourth year Business Studies student Vladimir Belujsky received a boxing scholarship. Belujsky had the distinction of training with Chris Eubank Jr ahead of his own recent super middleweight bout against heavily favoured Manny Bique. It was an explosive fight with Vladimir coming out on top, making a huge statement in doing so.

One week on from winning the Munster Intermediate Club Hurling title with Kanturk, Ryan Walsh was the only student to receive a dual scholarship while a number of intercounty stars such as Cork's Michael Cahalane and Patrick Collins, Limerick's Darragh Fanning and Robbie Hanley and Waterford's Michael Kearney were all hurling recipients.

Irish Under 18 hockey player Michelle Barry, who represented her country at the European Hockey Championships, is one of three hockey players to receive scholarships along with Church of Ireland players Julian Dale and Simon Wolfe. Julian recently went viral thanks to an outrageous piece of skill when he scored a 'panenka' style goal in the Munster U21 Club Championships as C of I won the tournament for a third year in a row.

The President of the Institute, Dr Barry O'Connor congratulated the students, saying: “A healthy mind and body in sport is inherently important. Our students have access to one of the best sports facilities in the country. We have been trying for a long time to develop our indoor faculties, we hope next year to get a start on that, so that’s something we can all look forward to in the college.”

Dr O’Connor also paid tribute to guest speaker Colm Cooper, saying: “I'd like to compliment Colm on his outstanding career, he is an outstanding player and I would like to thank him for being here this evening.”

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