20 Oct 2017
At a ceremony in the O'Reilly Hall last week, 14 of our Elite Athletes were honoured at a graduation as they completed their time as part of the Ad Astra Academy.
The Ceremony, which celebrated 63 students graduate from the Academy in total; 44 academic scholars, 14 elite sports scholars and 5 performing arts scholars, was hosted by Academy Director and Dean of Graduate Studies and Deputy Registar, Professor Barbara Dooley.
Guest speaker on the evening was Patrick Boland, a UCD Gradaute (BComm) and is the Principal Consultant at Conexus where he provides individual coaching, team coaching, training seminars and psychometric testing for leaders at every level of the organisation. His particular expertise lies in the areas of Millennial coaching, senior team coaching, strategy formulation and conflict resolution.
Our Ad Astra Elite Sports programme continues to shine on the national and global stage. Paul O’Donovan, graduated from the Academy this year, has recently won Gold at the World Championships in rowing, retaining his status as world champion for the second year in a row. He also won a silver medal with his brother Gary in the Lightweight Double Sculls at the Rio 2016
Olympics. Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe, an 2017 alumnus has competed in two separate Olympics and this year was crowned world champion in the Mixed Relay in the Modern Pentathlon World Cup with his partner, Natalya Coyle. Joshua van der Flier, another 2017 alumnus was selected to represent Ireland in the Six Nations Rugby last year and won man of the match against Australia in the 2016 Guinness Series, which is a superb achievement.
In its seven years of operation, the programme has developed into a world class academy for our students, many of whom, like Mark English, Ciara Mageean, Claire Lambe, Jack McCaffrey, Cillian Buckley, Katie Mullan, Luke McGrath and Paul O’Donovan act as superb ambassadors for the University.
Professor Dooley thanked the alumni and friends of the Univerisity for their support but also to those who so genously donated to the Academy through the UCD Foundation, without which the academy, its staff and indeed it's exceptional students would not be possible.
The Elite Athletes who gradauted were:
Edward Byrne (BComm) Rugby
Adam Byrne (BE) Rugby
Deirdre Duke (BCL) Hockey
Ciara Grant (MB, BCh, BAO) Soccer
Colin Judge (BAFS) Para Table Tennis
Maxim Kouogun (BA) Soccer
Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe (BSc) Modern Pentathlon
Daniel Leavy (BBL) Rugby
Ciara Maggean (BSc) Athletics
Conor O'Donnell (BBL) Soccer
Paul O'Donovan (BSc) Rowing
David Prendergast (BSc) Swimming
Chloe Ryan (BCL) Golf
Joshua van der Flier (BSc) Rugby
By Georgina Dwyer, UCD Sport