27th February 2019
A new UCC sports park, sporting club and sports participation programme are among the key initiatives of University College Cork’s (UCC) ambitious sports strategy launched this morning (Wednesday, February 27).
The four-year strategy — created after six months of consultation with UCC’s 55 sports clubs and the wider UCC and Cork sporting community —was launched by Olympic rowing hero Paul O’Donovan and athlete Mary Fitzgerald, who recently won three gold medals at the 2019 IWAS World Games.
UCC plans aims to “develop a new UCC Sports Park in Curraheen” to replace its current facilities at the Farm in Cork. A new sporting club, ‘Sport for Life Club – Many Tribes-One Team’, will be launched to connect players, volunteers, sponsors, supporters and alumni.
Other plans include the launch of a new #ActiveUCC sports participation programme and for a UCC Sport Hall of Fame Day to become an annual fixture. Also, a new line of UCC Sport Skull and Crossbones-branded apparel will be developed.
“Sport has long been the social language and currency of the city of Cork, its county and Munster,” commented Professor John O’Halloran, Deputy President, UCC. “Sport is in our bones and pride is on our chest at UCC, and we are proud to be part of such a rich sporting heritage.”
“This ambitious strategy is dedicated to unlocking the power of sport and physical activity across all areas of participation, representation and achievement” commented Morgan Buckley, Director of Sport, UCC. “Sport brings people together, and I want to thank the University community for their passion in building this strategy.”
Patsy Ryan, General Manager at the Mardyke Arena, UCC, stated: “The Mardyke Arena UCC is proud to be an integral part of the new UCC Sports Strategy. These are exciting times for sport and physical activity not alone in UCC but in the city of Cork and further afield. The potential for facility development and increased participation is huge.”
UCC has one of the highest rates of student participation in sports clubs among Irish universities, with a combined membership of over 4000 students in sports clubs. The Mardyke, the home of sport and activity in UCC, will celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2019, UCC has sported and played there since 1911.
“Sport and physical activity is a growing business globally worth over €90bn annually. We have a real opportunity to build new partnerships to develop sport in UCC. We will work with Sport Ireland, the Institute of Sport and National Sports and agencies here in Cork” commented Morgan Buckley, “we are committed to providing world-class facilities and a friendly, accessible sporting environment so that sport can be enjoyed at levels.”
With the year only in its second month, it has already been a phenomenal start for UCC sport. UCC completed the first Sigerson-Fitzgibbon cup double in 31 years this year, while earlier this year UCC beat UL to take the Collingwood Cup to clinch their 14th win in the competition. UCC also extended its partnership earlier this year with Cork City FC.