Student Sammy Jo Greer, Ballymoney hockey goalkeeper, is among the first sporting stars to have been selected to participate in the Queen’s Elite Athlete programme.
The local athlete joins Irish U23 800m champion Katie Kirk, who was selected to light the flame at the 2012 London Olympics, and Paralympic swimming finalist Laurence McGivern, and four other rising stars as the first ever sporting stars from Northern Ireland to have been named Queen’s Elite Athletes.
They will receive a package worth up to £8,000, including a significant contribution towards fees, accommodation and international competition costs throughout their time at Queen’s. In addition they will receive individual academic support and career advice, lifestyle management, a catering and nutritional budget, expert coaching and the very best in athlete support services.
Queen’s has invested £50K in the Elite Athlete Programme, which has been designed to help Northern Ireland’s most promising sporting stars compete at the highest level in their sport, while achieving their academic goals. With entries for next year’s scheme now open, the University has also just revealed it is to expand the Programme.
The EAP is the latest addition to a suite of over 120 sports scholarships already available to Queen’s students through its Rugby, GAA and Soccer Academies and its Ulster Bank Sports Bursary scheme.
Queen’s Sport Development Manager, Karl Oakes, said: “Following Queen’s £20 million investment in sport, students studying and competing at the University have access to truly world-class facilities. As a result, Queen’s is now in a position both locally and internationally to attract the very highest achievers in sport and academia across these islands and further afield.
“The Elite Athlete Programme is one of the best on offer to truly exceptional athletes who deserve to be supported in their academic and sporting careers so they can stay on course to achieve greatness in their chosen sport. We hope to play a major role in the development of these athletes throughout their time at Queen’s and long after they graduate.”