Speaking at the launch of the new course, Dr. Ruaidhri Neavyn, the Director of IT Carlow, said: "IT Carlow is delighted to have been able to develop this new course in association with Leinster Rugby and the IRFU. This is the first course of its type in Ireland and represents new thinking and innovation in relation to the development of the sport."
The primary objective of this new degree course is to support the development of the National Domestic Game by establishing a player-centred academy through the delivery of a course that combines a Player Development, Coaching, and Fitness programme with a broad based business or communications curriculum which is relevant to the development of sport.
"The welfare and development of the Game at Club, School and College levels as outlined in the IRFU Strategic Plan is a top priority of mine and this new Degree Course and innovation will greatly assist all aspects of the Domestic Game," said Der Healy, President of the IRFU, while speaking at the launch on Monday.
It is envisaged that the establishment of a player-centred academy for the National Domestic Game of Rugby which will equip students with the knowledge and skills to pursue career paths as rugby players, coaches, fitness instructors, or in club development and management, will greatly assist the sport in Ireland.
The students will also have acquired the relevant knowledge base to progress to honours degree programmes in the business or communications areas or to seek employment in business or public relations settings inside or outside of sport.
David Ross, the Provincial Domestic Game Manager for Leinster Rugby, added while outlining Leinster Rugby and the IRFU's contribution to the new programme, that: "Leinster Rugby is delighted to be associated with the new degree course and is confident that it will help with the development of the Domestic Game particularly with the retention of players in the 18-23 year old age group."
Carmel Lynch, the Director of Sport at IT Carlow, commented: "IT Carlow is looking forward to the first intake of students on this programme in September 2007, which incorporates three interlocking streams in Player Development, Coaching & Fitness, Business or Communications and includes modules such as advanced coaching skills, sports psychology, sports physiology, strength and conditioning, public relations, marketing and management."
Entry to the course for 2007, which is open to both male and female applicants, is by direct application to IT Carlow which will require applicants to provide evidence of their rugby playing standard and background.
For further information please contact:
Carmel Lynch at IT Carlow (tel: 059-9170400) or go to http://www.itcarlow.ie/ to download an application form and further course details