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Ad Astra Elite Sports Scholarships

The pursuit of excellence is part of the mission of UCD. The Ad Astra Elite Sports Academy scholars compete and succeed at the highest sporting levels while simultaneously attaining a degree at UCD. By combining sports participation with academic work in an ideal environment within the University, a safety net is provided for the student. Career-threatening injuries or other unforeseen circumstances do not have the same traumatic impact. The individual is encouraged through judicious balancing of the time available to ensure that neither academic nor sporting interests are compromised.

All athletes in the Academy compete at international level. In the case of GAA, they compete at inter-county level. Unique features to membership of the Ad Astra Elite Sports Academy are the dedicated fitness and nutritional monitoring, sports psychology, strength and conditioning, the provision of physiotherapy if required, physiological testing, and academic mentoring. Flexible admission arrangements are offered to the Elite Sports Scholars, acknowledging that dedication to elite sport may potentially detract from academic achievement in the latter stages of schooling.

“The academy to me has meant a network of peers and mentors that are striving for excellence in several domains in life. It has been an inspirational community to be a member of during my time in UCD, that has made me a more mature, rounded and determined individual.”

Sarah Lavin
Elite Sports Scholar – Athletics
Physiotherapy Stage 4

“Being a member of the Academy has been a great experience. It has introduced me to many likeminded students and people and given me an insight into their lives and how they strive to achieve their full potential. It has given me access to talks given by many inspirational people and by others who shared their wisdom with us, allowing us to learn from them.

On a practical front it has supported me when I have been in need of assistance in my academic studies and ensured that I never let things slide in this regard. As I finish my time in the Academy I am eternally grateful for the programme and all those that make it possible.”

Peadar Timmins
Elite Sports Scholar – Rugby
Engineering Stage 3

“The Ad Astra Academy has been invaluable to me. I have had a rough time over the past year and have still been able to continue my sport and study to the highest level. Without the help and support from the Academy, this would not have been possible. I’m looking forward to the summer ahead, excited to get some results on the board internationally and represent UCD and the Ad Astra academy to my best ability. The Academy has afforded me aid in my training both in the gym, on my horses and on physiotherapy placement. Most of all, having someone in my corner to help me fight my battles is what I am most grateful for.”

Emma O’Dwyer
Elite Sports Scholar – Equestrian Showjumping
Physiotherapy Stage 4