Michael Houghton, President of Munster Hockey, Andrew Murphy, U18 Boys, Morgan Buckley, Head of UCC Sport, Katie Toomey, U16 Girls.Photo: Jim McCarthy

UCC and Munster Hockey partner to develop new stars

While Munster players are relatively scarce on Irish hockey teams at the moment, the likes of Róisín Upton, Naomi Carroll and UCC’s Caoimhe Purdue are stars on the current Irish women’s team while Conor and David Harte, and Kevin O’Dea play for the men’s senior side.

Munster Hockey is aiming to try and increase that representation by partnering with University College Cork.

UCC is now the primary sponsor of Munster Hockey’s interprovincial teams after recently signing a three year partnership agreement.

The announcement comes after the province’s under 16 and under 18 girls teams kicked off their interprovincial campaigns against Leinster South at the Mardyke Arena.

As part of the partnership, Munster Hockey’s interprovincial players and management will have access to UCC’s world-class facilities at the Mardyke Arena, along with the university’s cutting-edge expertise in sports science, high-performance, nutrition, and sports psychology.

The partnership will help give the province’s senior and underage sides an edge, as well as acting as a platform to grow the game.

“This new partnership demonstrates the importance and benefits of having a partner who truly shares in our vision of nurturing talented Munster Hockey players,” commented Cliona Fergey, Chairperson of Munster Hockey.

“When playing against the best hockey players in Ireland you need a partner who not only knows the game, but one who can provide top-notch high-performance support to your players, support that will give our team’s an edge over their rivals.

“This is a very exciting time for Munster Hockey as we look to take the sport to the next level with UCC.”

Morgan Buckley, Head of UCC Sport, said that the partnership will help both Munster Hockey and UCC to develop the next generation of Irish hockey internationals.

“The popularity of hockey in Ireland is rapidly growing, and we are excited to be part of Munster’s continued rise within the game.”

“By providing them with the very best facilities to both current and rising Munster Hockey stars, we hope to play a key role in the success of Munster Hockey players on the international stage.”

His sentiment was shared by the Munster Hockey President, Michael Houghton, who praised UCC’s ambition to help elevate the sport and its desire to contribute to the success of its players, both on and off the field.

“UCC is an innovative, athlete-centred educator and supporter of hockey. In addition to its pitch facilities, the partnership ensures access to a wide range of high-performance services that will contribute greatly to the overall success of our Munster Hockey players on, and off the pitch.”

The partnership will also see Munster Hockey and UCC Sport collaborate on joint marketing initiatives to promote the sport.