The Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) GAA club in conjunction with Whitfield hosted a sports forum on Wednesday 29th of November at 6pm, in the WIT Arena. The aim was to open the debate on all aspects of recovery for an athlete; from injury, operation, rehabilitation, to player health and well-being and facing up to the challenges of combining all of this with day to day demands and the demands of returning to the field of play.
The all-encompassing nature of the topics open for discussion was reflected in the event title “Injury Management and the Road to Recovery”. The organisers amassed some very interesting guests who deal with injuries, the recovery and from a variety of different personal injuries. The forum was hosted and organised by WIT GAA club and sponsored by Whitfield, the renowned provider of patient care and high standard for clinical excellence in various fields including GAA.
The event focused on athlete injury and the challenge of managing and dealing with the recovery experience. Master of Ceremonies for the event was WLR FM’s Eamon Keane. Contributors and members of the panel included: Mr Pat Carton; Orthopaedic Surgeon (Hip & Knee); Mr Shane Walsh; physiotherapist; Mr Pauric Mahony, former WIT Business Student & current Waterford hurler, Mr William Maher, current WIT Executive MBA and GPA Scholarship Student and former Tipperary hurler; Ms Mairead Daly; Current MBS Marketing and WGPA Scholarship Student and current Offaly Ladies footballer; Dr Ciara Losty; Lecturer in Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology, at WIT’s Department of Sport and Exercise Science.
On the night, Offaly native Mairead Daly spoke out about how she felt and dealt with sustaining the dreaded cruciate ligament injury back in 2013 along with breaking her collar bone last year. While both injuries are different in nature one thing that stood out to her on her road to recovery was while she was still involved in some capacity with her club, St. Rynaghs and Offaly, things were different. The talented ‘Dalo’ as she is called in WIT, reflected and highlighted that in a way her sense of identity was lost while she was injured.
However, such an injury has certainly not stopped Mairead. Her performance with this year’s successful Lynch Cup winning WIT team was top class, and such efforts were highlighted when she received a Higher Education College All Star. With such a team being dominated with tier 1 teams, Mairead being selected from a 3rd tier team was without doubt a major achievement. Not only this, the young Offaly woman was then awarded with WIT Sports Star of the Year at the Club and Societies Awards night. Furthermore, the BBS in Recreation and Sport Management (Hons) student received the Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Science Female Sports Person of the Year 2017. Perhaps one of the biggest and most memorable honours to date for Mairead, was being awarded the Ladies Gaelic Football Player of the decade at the 2016 Offaly Sport Partnership’s Awards night, an award to which is definitely well deserved.
This event was aimed at sports managers, team’s physios and physical therapists and athletes in sports to enable them to better manage the various challenges on the road to recovery.
The Hip & Groin Clinic, based in Whitfield Waterford provides sportsmen and women with rapid, often next day, access to specialist consultants, who are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of hip and groin related pain or injury, including Hip Arthroscopy, with no delay to further investigations or surgery, if required.
Mr. Pat Carton and the surgical team at the Hip and Groin Clinic are experts in their field and are supported by a dedicated orthopaedic nursing, administration and physiotherapy team at Whitfield, who work endlessly to provide the best quality of care at every stage of the patient’s treatment.
The event was also supported by WIT Department of Sport & Exercise Science, WIT Clubs & Societies, the WIT Arena, and the WIT Student’s Union.
On the night many WIT students attended including WIT Sport Scholarship Students along with current and past WIT GAA Players and Students. Lots of WIT Staff members were present too.
“The open panel nature of this forum and the mixture of guests that we assembled gave the audience several different views and opinions on the topic we chose. We were delighted that the audience took the opportunity to ask questions to the panel of guests on areas of interest to them, and with the fine turn out to what was a wonderful evening in WIT,” said Katie Redmond, WIT GAA Development Officer.
WIT has more than 8,000 students across five campuses in Waterford city, with education delivered from higher certificate to doctoral level. Prospective CAO applicants have 70 CAO courses to choose from across a range of disciplines including business, engineering and architecture, sports and nursing, law, social sciences, arts and psychology, the creative & performing arts, languages, tourism and hospitality, science and computing. The Institute has continued to make a huge contribution to the educational, societal, and economic health of the region.
WIT has been hugely successful over the last 47 years, with close to 2,500 students graduating each year, and acts as a catalyst for positive change in the south east and further afield.
Over the last 10 years, the Institute has been granted in excess of €150 million in external research funding, leading the field of research in the institute of technology sector, and similar to some smaller universities.
650 Health, Sport & Exercise students are benefiting from the Institute’s €20m million state of the art WIT Arena which opened its doors to students, staff and the general public in September 2016.
As well as serving as a resource for the Department of Sports and Exercise Science, the 2,000-person capacity WIT Arena is used as a sports facility for students and a valued addition to the region as a conference, entertainment and sporting venue.
A free shuttle bus links WIT’s main campus on the Cork Road with the €20m WIT Arena.
Sports Scholarship Programme
The Sport Scholarship Programme at WIT is aimed at supporting high performance athletes in a wide range of sports. The support services offered include: WIT Arena High Performance Unit, academic support, sport science, medical and personal development are all tailored to help the athletes reach their potential. For 2017 a new “Emerging Talent” Scholarship package has been announced that will allow more students to benefit from the scholarship programme’s support structures. Prospective students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
WIT GAA Club
2017-18 will see the WIT GAA Club embark on its 36th year. Since its inception, the club has gone from strength to strength and has been successful in various third level competitions.
In 1981 it consisted of one Hurling team playing in Division 3. Currently it has 18 teams competing in 25 competitions each year which amounts to over 130 games across the five codes. The club operates off a ‘One Club Model’ which means we cater equally for male and females and for players of all abilities and levels. This is an important part of our ethos and helps to welcome and make all players part of the WIT family as it is known.
Today our Hurling, Men’s Football, Ladies Football and Camogie teams all compete at a top level in their respective competitions and have tasted great success down through the years. In addition, the club has always strived to provide as many games for as many students as possible, which has resulted in maximum participation among our students. This policy has been so successful that teams from WIT have won a total of 103 titles, including: Division 1 Hurling titles, Fitzgibbon cup trophies, Fresher 1 and Fresher 2 All-Irelands, Ashbourne Cup, Purcell Cups, Division 1 Leagues and numerous Men’s and Ladies Football titles. In fact since its foundation, the club has won at least one major title every year. Recent successes include winning the Fitzgibbon cup in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2014, the Ashbourne cup in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013, the Giles cup in 2011 and the Lynch Cup in 2017.
Department of Sport and Exercise Science
The Department of Sport and Exercise Science at Waterford Institute of Technology provides teaching, learning and research opportunities at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
With 650 students and 32 staff members it is the largest academic department in the area of health, sport and exercise science in the country. Its programmes span the health, sport and exercise science field, attracting students from all over Ireland.
Students have access to a range of modern facilities including the WIT Arena and our Human Performance Laboratories.