IT Sligo Skipper Sullivan Scores Stateside

Mayo Student wins Player of The Year Award in New York  

IT Sligo sports scholarship student Kathryn Sullivan has topped off a successful work placement in New York by scooping a prestigious prize that has made her a headline name in Ladies GAA in the Big Apple.

Already well known in the Irish student sports world as captain of IT Sligo Ladies team, Kathryn has been named New York Ladies GAA “Player of the Year” for her pivotal role in helping the Bronx-based Na Fianna club sweep the boards in the New York Ladies GAA cup competitions.

Kathryn (22), from Castlebar, Co Mayo, is in the third-year of the BA in Recreation and Leisure at the Institute. “I’m absolutely delighted,” she said. “I just wasn’t expecting the award.”

IT Sligo President, Professor Terri Scott said:  “This is a tremendous achievement by Kathryn and we all congratulate her on it.  She is one of the recipients of our annual Sports Scholarships and a great ambassador for IT Sligo and GAA. As a player and coach, her success is a perfect illustration of the energy and talent that we have here at IT Sligo.”

Blending practical experience with lecture hall learning, the Recreation and Leisure course entails a 12 week training placement. For Kathryn that meant a stay with the New York Celtics club in the Bronx, coaching under-14s.

As well as adult teams, New York Celtics has around 112 children in under-14 teams. In her concentrated five day a week role, Kathryn drew on skills she has honed at Sligo and in her own very active sporting life outside college.  She said the youngsters’ skills were an eye-opener.

“When I went over there, I didn’t expect the standard to be as good as it was, even among the under-8s. I was coaching mostly under-14 teams every evening and I was able to apply drills that I’ve learnt at Sligo. There would be weekend training ‘blitzes’ as well.

“Over there, football is just massive, not just among emigrant Irish but among American-born children of Irish parents.”

Her Player of the Year accolade resulted from her on-field performances with Na Fianna, a club founded in 21 years ago that she had also played with during a visit to New York in 2010.

Playing with Na Fianna Ladies this year, she helped them win the seven-a- side Barry Fitzgerald Cup, the 15-a-side Annie Kearney Cup and the Sean Faherty Championship, which is the highlight of the New York Ladies season.

Rosie O’Reilly Broderick, chairperson of the New York Ladies County Board, who is from Lavey, Co  Cavan, presented Kathryn with her award at a function in New York earlier this month.

The IT Sligo Sports Scholarship Scheme supports rising sport stars in a wide range of sports, from GAA to soccer, and surfing to boxing.  For more information see http://itsligo.ie/study-at-it-sligo/itsligosportsscholarships/

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