The Irish Colleges Rugby season reached its conclusion today with the announcement of the 2010 Treasury Holdings Irish Colleges Player of the Year award winner. The winning player is Michael Kearney, a first year student studying for a BA in Sports and Exercise (Rugby) at the Institute of Technology, Carlow.
This season, Michael Kearney has represented the Irish Colleges in internationals against the French Students and English Students. He was also an integral part of the Leinster Colleges team which retained the Irish Colleges Interprovincial title with wins over Connacht and Ulster.
Michael captained IT Carlow to the All-Ireland Freshmen Cup with a hard-fought 28-13 win over NUI Maynooth, scoring a decisive try in this game to push his side to victory.
He has previously represented the Irish Youths and Leinster Under-19s and plays his club rugby in Clontarf RFC.
Treasury Holdings, the international real estate company and official partner of the Irish Rugby Football Union, initiated the Irish Colleges Players of the Year Award to recognise outstanding merit and achievement in student rugby.
The award was decided through voting by the coaches of each of the college teams participating in the Treasury Holdings Domestic Colleges Division One and Two leagues and the coaches at interprovincial and national level.
With over 25,000 students in the third level Colleges across Ireland, the Colleges game has been identified as a key development area as part of the IRFU’s Strategic Plan 2012.
Commenting on the award, John Bruder, Managing Director of Treasury Holdings Ireland, said: “We are delighted to announce the first ever Treasury Holdings Irish Colleges Player of the Year award winner.
“The idea for the award came about last year as both Treasury Holdings and the IRFU wanted to recognise the skill and hard work that the players put in at this level, in a bid to make the international team.
“Michael is a great player and a worthy winner. Well done to him and to all the players who participated in the leagues this year.
“It is great to see the sport developing at Colleges level and we are delighted to be partnering the IRFU to develop both serious and social rugby in Colleges across Ireland.
“This award is set to become a highlight in the Colleges rugby calendar each year and we hope to see the winners line out for the Irish national team some day.”
Award winner Michael said: “I am delighted to have won and would like to thank Treasury Holdings for the award. I would also like to thank my fellow players and coaches form the teams I have played with this season.
“Without their support and hard work, I would not be in this position.”
The Irish Colleges Rugby Union incorporates Universities, Agricultural Colleges, and Institutes of Technology, Army and Garda Colleges along with other third level institutions.
39 Universities and Colleges and 7,500 students are involved at this level, covering urban and rural Ireland both north and south.