The awards, which were made based upon eligibility and merit, are split very close to 50:50 between male and female players. For the first time the scholarships have been equalised, meaning all members will receive the same funding depending on their level of study. These scholarships range from €1,000 to €1,500.
Recipients were invited to a special presentation to mark the announcement at the Radisson Blu Hotel at Dublin Airport recently. Almost one third of the GPA’s 4,000 strong membership are students. Derry’s Rachel McAllister and Ella-Rose Sainsbury attended the event in Dublin yesterday.
Speaking at the event, GPA CEO Tom Parsons said; “This is a very important day for a large percentage of our members. It is fantastic to be able to support them through these scholarships and we know the positive impact they will have on the lives of our members.
“In lots of cases, student athletes in our games struggle to make ends meet so these awards help in that respect. Others cannot hold down part-time jobs because of their study and sporting commitments and again this will help alleviate some of the burden they can be under.
“We are delighted to be able to equalise the awards for our male and female members. It is yet another move we have made towards levelling the field for all our student members.”
GPA Education and Events Manager, Karen Thorpe added; “Our student members can avail of a whole series of supports through the GPA from scholarships like those being awarded today, to educational support and career advice through our BEO360 programme.
“We also have partnerships with approximately 30 universities, colleges and education institutions across the island which allows us to offer enhanced scholarships to a number of players who are pursuing postgraduate programmes including Masters, MBA or PhD level education.
“This support is aimed at allowing them to concentrate of achieving the best possible results in their studies by helping to alleviate some of the financial burden.”
All players who are in receipt of this scholarship funding must have taken part in the GPA’s Rookie Camp which outlines to players their rights and responsibilities as members of inter-county panels.