Home Rovers Rovers and Trinity College alliance will offer exciting new opportunities for young...

Rovers and Trinity College alliance will offer exciting new opportunities for young Irish footballers

Rovers coach Graham Gartland and 60 Tallaght students at yesterday's launch

Shamrock Rovers yesterday launched an exciting new initiative with Trinity College aimed at helping young footballers stay in education.

The Sporting Talent & Academic Rewards (STAR) project will run in conjunction with Trinity Access Programmes, Shamrock Rovers and Trinity Sport and will bring learning and sport together in a year-long project beginning in September.

STAR aims to give students from Tallaght and the inner city an outreach programme that supports both their educational and sporting development as well as providing opportunities for them to engage with college life.

The project was launched in Trinity yesterday with a football tournament for 100 6thclass students which takes place on campus for three days.

There was a big Tallaght presence with 60 local children involved in launching the new project.

The final, which takes place tomorrow, will be hosted by RTÉ’s Richie Sadlier, with guest appearances from Damien Duff, Stephen McPhail and John O’Sullivan from Carlisle United.

Hoops Chairman Jonathan Roche spoke of the importance of education in the life of a young footballer. He said:

“Shamrock Rovers are delighted and honored to partner with Trinity College.

“We recently opened a new training facility for our young players and we are striving to raise the bar in Irish football by developing our own talent on the pitch.

“A huge part of this is working with the kids off the pitch also.

“It is vitally important for us that kids are educated both on and off the pitch.

“This programme will show kids the importance of education and that football and education can go hand in hand.”

Ex footballer and psychotherapist Richie Sadlier sees the STAR project as a positive development to way to support the mental health of young players.

“I’m delighted to be involved in a project that aims to support the educational, sporting and personal development of young people.

“Everyone involved is determined to make it a huge success, and hopefully similar initiatives will be rolled out everywhere in years to come.”