In excess of 300 sports personalities, philanthropic and business leaders attended the annual University of Limerick President’s Gala Dinner organised by the UL Foundation in a special marquee on the UL campus.
A new suite of Sports Scholarships were formally launched at the event, designed to support elite athletes in pursuing and excelling in their sport while also undertaking study at the University of Limerick. There are three levels of award – Gold, Silver and Bronze – with a value of up to €10,000 at the Gold level. Scholarship holders will benefit from support in the areas of accommodation, registration fees, sports science, coaching and mentoring.
A number of sports stars and personalities attended the event, including former New Zealand All Blacks rugby international, Doug Howlett; Munster Captain, CJ Stander and his international swimmer wife, Jean Marie Stander; Kilkenny hurler, Eddie Keher; as well as a number of UL’s past and present Olympians.
A new Terry Wogan Scholarship was announced at the event in honour of the late Sir Terry Wogan, who was a Director of the UL Foundation and who received a UL Honorary Doctorate in 2004. Speaking about the Wogan Scholarship, the President said “Terry was greatly loved throughout the Limerick and the UL communities. …We feel it is a fitting embodiment of his deep interest in Education and Sport in a Limerick context and I am certain the Terry Wogan Sports Scholarship will be a much-coveted accolade by the sports stars of the future.”
Referring to the new Sports Scholarship Scheme, UL Foundation CEO, David Cronin said: “UL is Ireland’s premier sports campus, boasting some of the top facilities in Europe. …the Foundation is delighted to support this new Scholarship Scheme, which is very fitting in this Olympic year, as we get ready to support UL’s Olympic hopefuls, Thomas Barr and Michelle Finn”.
Guests were treated to a special musical performance by internationally acclaimed fiddler and Irish World Academy Artist, Martin Hayes, along with master guitarist Denis Cahill. Sponsors of the event this year were Bank of Ireland, Noonan Group and Lenmac.