01/06/2004

Queen's launch GAA initiative

A major new initiative to give the best possible sporting chance to Queen's University's Gaelic stars of the future is to be launched on Wednesday.

The launch of the new GAA Academy is part of the University's vision for student sport, entitled 'Building a New Sporting Future at Queen's', which aims to develop the student experience to include sporting opportunities at both performance and recreational levels.

The latest venture follows the success of the University's Rugby Academy, launched in 2002, which has already resulted in a number of achievements, including a First Fifteen who were in promotion contention in Division III and the development of a Queen's Women’s rugby squad.

Welcoming the initiative, Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain said: "Queen's is proud of its rich sporting traditions and its commitment to its sporting life. The University has a long and distinguished sporting record, providing many champions in many sports over the years at intervarsity, national and international level.

"We believe that sporting activities are an integral part of what we call the 'Queen's Experience' - the University's term for the invigorating blend of all the elements that make for a rewarding student life.

"That is why initiatives such as the Gaelic Academy are crucial to our success. Its creation is a major step towards our goal of becoming the premier sporting university in Ireland.

Funds for the GAA Academy were raised as a result of a campaign by the Development and Alumni Relations Office and named after legendary Gaelic player Sean O'Neill.

The initiative, which will support the development of men's and ladies Gaelic football, hurling, camogie and handball, is a partnership between Queen's, the five student clubs and the Ulster Branch of the GAA.

(MB)

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