High Scores for DkIT's Sports Scholars19 November 2017
Elite sports stars are matching their on the pitch commitment to their pursuit of a third level degree after securing a Sports Scholarship with Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT).
“Football is life,” says Anton Reilly (20) with a smile. Anton is a midfielder formerly with Dundalk FC and now kits out for Northern Ireland Premier League club Warrenpoint Town. He is in his third year of a Business and Technology degree course and said that it took time to balance the workloads of both disciplines.
“It is tough as you try to give one hundred percent in sport and in education and there will be times when one suffers and you have to compensate as best you can. I found it tough at the start but I am in 3rd year now and I think I have them balanced quite well now.”
He says the Scholarship team led by Sport and Societies Officer Derek Crilly give practical support.
“Derek would compensate you if you say I am going to be late for training because I have to finish my study or I have to hand in an assignment. It is important you are keeping up your grades and keeping up your performance, you can’t be slacking but within reason they do compensate you.”
“If you are thinking of applying, I would say do not be afraid and believe in your ability to get the scholarship. There are huge benefits and it definitely opens up opportunities.”
Sophie Watters (19) who has played soccer for Ireland at U 17 and U 19 level said,
“I transferred to DkIT and applied for the scholarship while I was doing a PLC in O’Fiach College in Dundalk.”
She began her football with local teams in Louth and is now playing for Shelbourne FCs’ senior women’s team.
“I am in my first year of ‘Sports, Exercise and Enterprise and it is something I was always interested in.”
After year three Sophie will have to pick between sport and business for her Level 8 in year 4 and she said,“At the moment I think I will pick sport.”
“I’d encourage girls to come here, it is very good and everyone is very helpful. “When you are playing at a high level you obviously want to keep playing as at high a level as you can, you don’t really want to drop unless you have to.”
Past scholarship winners include Dublin GAA Ladies All Star Carla Rowe (22) and Republic of Ireland U17 and Dundalk FC midfielder Georgie Poynton.
Derek Crilly, DkIT’s Sports and Societies Officer, said, “we award up to 15 Sports Scholarships each year in team and individual sports including athletics, gaelic, soccer, rugby, Paralympics and surfing.”
“There is a substantial bursary and access to expert coaching and training as well as support including physiotherapy. We want our students to do their best on and off the field.”
The scholarship also includes extensive sport welfare support, including an intensive strength and conditioning programme, sports science training, fitness testing, nutrition advice, sports psychology and physiotherapy. Students also receive open access to the Institute’s new, state-of-the-art indoor sports facility, DkIT Sport.
Teams at DkIT can avail of the indoor training pitch, sessions take place on the strength and conditioning area and scholars can freely use leisure facilities to assist with recovery from training and matches.
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