Connacht Rugby and GMIT have unveiled a three year partnership that will see the two collaborate in areas of research and further education opportunities.
The partnership will involve a sharing of knowledge on sports management and conditioning, as well as nutrition, providing GMIT students with research opportunities in those fields.
It will also benefit staff and players in Connacht Rugby across the broad prospectus of undergraduate and post graduate courses in GMIT.
Dr Michael Hannon, Acting President of GMIT, said “Sport is a very important part of life in Ireland today and we are delighted to be working closely with Connacht Rugby for the benefit of both organisations.”
“We see a significant congruence between both organisations in terms of location, values and commitment to the region.”
The IT will also be supporting the development of rugby across the province by helping the network of Connacht Rugby Club and Community Rugby Officers who operate in clubs and schools all over the west of Ireland.
They will also support the age grade development pathway in the province by providing front of shirt sponsorship to Connacht Girls and Boys Under 17,18 and 19 teams for the next three seasons.
CEO of Connacht Rugby Willie Ruane said that this strategic partnership would create opportunities for both institutes.
“Our role as an organisation extends beyond the game of rugby and GMIT share our vision to make a positive impact throughout the West of Ireland, so this partnership is a perfect alignment between both institutions”.
Head of Athletic Performance at Connacht Rugby Dave Howarth added that it would open up exciting research prospects.
He said that their team of experts in sports performance have already begun collaborating with their new counterparts and expect “real tangible benefits” from the process.
Dr Des Foley, Head of Science and Computing at GMIT added “The first graduates from the progressive honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science will graduate in 2020 and in Public Health Nutrition in 2021.”
“The Institute will also begin a new Masters programme in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition next month.”