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The Future is Bright at the 2024 DkIT Future Stars Awards

15 May 2024

DkIT are proud to report that Leinster and Ireland internationals Ronan Kelleher, Jimmy O’Brien and Aimee Clarke were in attendance to celebrate the eighth DkIT Sports & Societies Future Stars Awards recently. The event, founded by Ray McCabe, the Leinster Community Rugby Officer and DkIT Rugby Development Officer, is carried on in partnership with Leinster Rugby. The occasion marks the tremendous work being done at the schools and clubs levels in the North East region, former winners including Montpellier centre Karl Martin and current Leinster Academy back Aitzol King.

The motivation behind the awards ceremony is threefold. First, it is to reward the fantastic season all nominated players have had in the region. Second, it is to inform all players of the offerings DkIT has for local players, by means of Sports Scholarships and by bridging the gap from youth rugby to senior rugby. Third, it is to encourage local players to keep playing with their local clubs, of which many started as minis’ players, and, in time, to make the North-East area as strong as possible. “We want to reward the standout players, in their positions, for the past twelve months,” says Ray McCabe, the Leinster Community Rugby Officer,  He added,  “There are a number of scholarships available to those impressive enough to earn them as part of the drive to keep these players local rather than lose them to the big Dublin clubs”.

Leinster Sub-Academy second row Mahon Ronan, Ireland Under-19 training member Evan Shelley and Ireland Under-18 Clubs loose forward Luke Fagan were among the male winners. In the Women’s category, scrum-half Alex Connor and back-three operator Emma Brogan were both honoured with Ireland caps at the Under-18 Six Nations at Easter.

The selfless graft on the ground of clubs allied to the assistance of Leinster Rugby in the North-East has seen this programme grow massively. In recent years the number of players contacted has increased significantly with the introduction of the online voting system which is supported by the Argus and The Independent newspapers. This allows 45 girls and 45 boys to be nominated (three in each position). The 90 players then compete by way of online voting, allowing the public to have a say. After the votes have been counted, they contribute 50% to the overall score and a judgment committee makes up the other 50% which leads to the overall selected squads.

Full list of winners:


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