Shamrock Rovers F.C. team up with Trinity College on pilot Football & Education programme.
Damien Duff and Richie Sadlier are just two of the names lending their weight to a new initiative that aims to keep talented young footballers in education for longer. Entitled the STAR (Sporting Talent & Academic Rewards) project, it is run in conjunction with TAP (Trinity Access Programmes), Shamrock Rovers F.C. and Trinity Sport.
A lot of children dream of becoming professional footballers. Yet this dream often comes at a cost – their education. Now the STAR project hopes to go some way towards addressing this issue.
The year-long STAR project, to be piloted this September, is aimed at providing students from Tallaght and the inner city with an outreach programme that supports both their educational and sporting development. It will provide opportunities to engage with college life, thereby hopefully increasing participation rates in third level education.
The project was launched in Trinity today with a football tournament for 100 6thclass students taking place on campus from Monday to Wednesday (April 3-5).
The tournament culminates on Wednesday with a presentation to the students. This will be hosted by RTÉ football pundit Richie Sadlier, with guest appearances from Damien Duff (Shamrock Rovers Academy Coach), Stephen McPhail (Shamrock Rovers Sporting Director), and John O’Sullivan (Carlisle United).
Football pundit and psychotherapist Richie Sadlier sees the STAR project as a way to support the mental health of young players, while encouraging academic aspirations.
“I’m delighted to be involved in a project that aims to support the educational, sporting and personal development of young people. Everyone involved is determined to make it a huge success, and hopefully similar initiatives will be rolled out everywhere in years to come.”
Shamrock Rovers Chairman Jonathan Roche further added:
“Shamrock Rovers are delighted and honored to partner with Trinity College. We recently opened a new training facility for our young players and we are striving to raise the bar in Irish football by developing our own talent on the pitch. A huge part of this is working with the kids off the pitch also. It is vitally important for us that kids are educated both on and off the pitch. This programme will show kids the importance of education and that football and education can go hand in hand.”
About the tournament Between 10am-1pm on Monday and Tuesday (April 3, 4) 100 students will play a football tournament in the Sports Centre, Trinity College Dublin.
Then on Wednesday April 5, a team from each school will visit the campus for lunch, meet Trinity staff and students, and witness first-hand the diverse mix of people who study and work there. The final of the tournament will be held on College Park football pitch.
Beginning in September 2017, up to 100 students will be invited to participate in bi-monthly activities during first year of secondary school that (1) keeps them engaged in and motivated towards their education (2) develops their elite sporting abilities and (3) supports the development of self-esteem and a resilient mindset.
To date, the project has invited 100 students from DEIS schools to participate in the football tournament, with 50 students from Tallaght and 50 from Dublin’s inner city.
For the past 20 years, TAP (Trinity Access Programmes) has formed a central part of Trinity’s plan to encourage young adults, adults and ethnic minority students who come from socio-economic groups under-represented in higher education, to go to university.