Development & Alumni Relations Office 

SUPPORT OUR GAME PLAN - CELEBRATING QUEEN'S SPORT  Pictured at the Dub pavilion are representatives of the main sports at Queen's

23 September 2020

To celebrate Queen’s sport – which provides a source of pride and passion for students and is an intrinsic part of the student experience at the University – new web pages have been developed.

Sport is a proud component of the University’s heritage and a source of continuing interest to many of our 200,000 alumni across the globe and Queen’s graduates are now being given new ways to become more involved.

Queen’s sporting history stretches back over 170 years and the University numbers some of the best-known names in sport among its alumni. Through its Sporting Academies, the best in student talent has been supported in recent years to enable individual students and teams to compete successfully at the highest level.

Ongoing investment in sports infrastructure has led to Queen’s being ranked first out of nine Russell Group universities for satisfaction with sporting facilities according to the International Student Barometer, 2018.

Paddy Gilmore, Development and Engagement Manager said:

"Sport is integral to the student experience at Queen's. It offers a place to belong, an opportunity to pursue a sporting passion or to compete at the highest levels.

“The development of these new web pages reflects the significance of sport in the life of the University and its community. Moreover, they offer an opportunity for our alumni to maintain contact with sport at Queen's and to provide the vital funding that helps us build on a tradition of sporting excellence."

The University has developed five academies, founded between 2002 and 2014: Rugby, GAA, Soccer, Rowing and Hockey. These academies provide an enhanced support structure for clubs and high performing students. In 2007, Queen’s Sport also introduced the Elite Athlete Programme for students with outstanding sporting potential, who are among the best in their respective sports.

The Academy system at Queen’s has been a major contributor to the development of student athletes and the achievement of sporting success. The University Academies have had a number of notable successes in recent years:

  • Ulster Shield Ladies Hockey Winners (2017) for the first time since 1933
  • Ulster Ladies Hockey Premier League Winners 2020, for the first time in the Club’s history
  • QUB AFC won promotion to the Irish Championship for the first time in its history and were 2018 Intermediate cup winners for the first time in 108 years. The Club also claimed a historic victory over Linfield FC in the Fifth Round of the Irish Cup, in January 2020
  • Queen’s Rowers retained their 2019 BUCS Quadruple scull for the first time in history
  • Elite Athlete, Harvey Barnes has had numerous accolades in cycling, including Gold and Silver medal winning performances at the Irish National Championships in September 2020
  • Queen's graduate and former Elite Athlete Rower, Philip Doyle, is now regarded as a major medal contender at the next Olympic Games

This level of success has been possible because Queen’s has been able to invest in the infrastructure, resources, equipment, development and coaching that has been provided through the Foundations. As they were established, each Academy was set up with its own Foundation, which seeks to ensure that the heritage and sporting traditions of the sport can be sustained. Integral to this is support from alumni, players, non-players and friends who invest in the sporting culture at the University.

New heights are being reached every year, thanks to the investment that alumni have made in sport at Queen’s. As the University strives to deliver the best possible sporting and academic experience for students, we face increasing challenges in the current climate and need to respond imaginatively.

With the support of alumni worldwide Queen’s will continue to develop student athletes of the highest calibre as well as graduates who are highly sought after by employers.

Paddy Gilmore added:

“Our new sports pages highlight the work of Queen’s Sport and create a new opportunity to donate to each Academy. All donations made to the Jack Kyle Rugby Academy, the Sean O’Neill GAA Academy, the Hockey Academy, the Soccer Academy and the Rowing Academy will enable us to develop our priority sports, student athletes and teams.

“We hope graduates and friends of sport at Queen’s will take the opportunity to join many thousands of alumni in supporting the further success of our historic clubs.”

To support our game plan, visit our new academy webpage or to discuss sporting sponsorship opportunities please contact Paddy Gilmore.  

For general enquiries about this story or to submit graduate news items, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office. 

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