Hoops roll in behind new STAR project

SHAMROCK Rovers have teamed up with Trinity College to create a new initiative that will provide young soccer players in the community with more third level educational opportunities.

The STAR (Sporting Talent & Academic Rewards) project, which is run in conjunction with TAP (Trinity Access Programmes), Rovers and Trinity Sport and also supported by The Square Shopping Centre, is aimed at keeping talented young footballers in education for longer.

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Launched this week with a soccer tournament in Trinity, involving, among others, students from St Mark’s, St Aidan’s, St Thomas’ and St Kevin’s in Tallaght, the year-long STAR project is set to be piloted this coming September.

Up to 100 students will be invited to participate in bi-monthly activities during their first year of secondary school that keeps them engaged in and motivated towards their education while developing their elite sporting abilities.

It will focus on students in Tallaght and the inner city with an outreach programme that supports both their educational and sporting development.

“We’re targeting Tallaght and the inner city because we feel those are areas where we see an entrenched level of educational disadvantage” said Katriona O’Sullivan,  Trinity Access Programme Officer.

“Educational prog-rammes need to cater to the students’ specific needs. You have to be creative in what you offer them and we find soccer is a great hook for young adults to get them to stay in education” she added.

Among others who have helped support the move are RTÉ football pundit Richie Sadlier, Damien Duff, Shamrock Rovers Academy Coach, Stephen McPhail, Shamrock Rovers Sporting Director and Carlisle United midfielder John O’Sullivan.

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