TUS preparing to upgrade sports facilities in Athlone to ‘highest FIFA certification level’

Gordon Brett, campus sport and recreation manager at TUS Midlands, and students studying at TUS Midlands, have welcomed €180,000 funding to upgrade sports facilities to ‘highest FIFA certification level’.

Gordon Brett, campus sport and recreation manager at TUS Midlands, and students studying at TUS Midlands, have welcomed €180,000 funding to upgrade sports facilities to ‘highest FIFA certification level’.

The Technological University of the Shannon (TUS ) has been awarded a grant allocation of almost €180,000 to upgrade its existing sports facilities in Athlone to the ‘highest FIFA certification level’.

A total of €178,086 in funding has been granted to TUS via the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gealtacht, Sport & Media, following another successful application to the Sports Capital Programme Regional Projects section.

The funding will be used to replace the surface of the technological university’s artificial soccer pitch and upgrade the floodlights to an LED system.

“The awarding of the funding will allow us to upgrade the facility to the highest FIFA certification level while also upgrading the floodlighting system. This is a hugely important win for the university as this facility is one of the busiest in the country when accounting for both the high level of student and community usage levels,” Gordon Brett, the campus sport and recreation manager at TUS Midlands, stated.

The pitch was originally built along with the campus outdoor athletics track following a similar Sports Capital Programme grant of €300,000 in 2007 with St Francis FC partnering on the application.

However, the facility is utilised by many other clubs and sports from the local community and wider. The pitch is used by not just soccer teams but also rugby, tag rugby, hurling, camogie and athletics clubs.

Welcoming the funding, TUS President Professor Vincent Cunnane noted that is the fifth application from the Midlands campus that has been successful since 2007, with the total allocation from the Sport Capital Programme now standing close to €1.5 million.

“This funding is key to helping our new technological university build and maintain world-class sports facilities for the benefit of the student population and the wider sporting community in Ireland,” Professor Cunnane noted.

Substantial funding to assist joint strategy for TUS and RUN-EU Partners

Meanwhile, the allocation of almost €450,000 to the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS ) as a member of RUN-EU (European Regional University Network ), one of seven European University alliances, will help plot a course to implement a shared, integrated, and long-term joint strategy for the new technological university and its partner universities.

That was the message from TUS’s Vice President of Research, Development and Innovation, Dr Liam Brown, who welcomed the announcement of the €442,000 funding by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris on behalf of the HEA (Higher Education Authority ).

A flagship initiative of the European Union, the ambition is to build a European Education Area and European Research Area with the assistance of European University alliances – including RUN-EU.

These alliances will help create a European inter-university ‘campus’, where students, staff and researchers enjoy seamless mobility (physical, virtual or blended ) to study, train, teach, research, work or share services at cooperating partner institutions.

“The RUN-EU long-term vision places innovative teaching, learning, research and engagement at the centre of the alliance’s activities and plots a course to implement the shared, integrated, and long-term joint strategy of the European Universities, with students at the centre. Today’s funding will help us further along this journey.

“The RUN-EU alliance contributes to the European Higher Education Area goals of enhanced mobility opportunities and recognition of qualifications across the EU through the design and delivery of collaborative European degrees, educational opportunities and the promotion of a strong sense of European identity, culture, and citizenship. This will ultimately deliver for all stakeholders and address the skills of the future for our employers,” Dr Brown explained.

TUS Head of Research Dr Patrick Murray outlined the benefit of RUN-EU not only to TUS, but to the region, country and Europe as a whole.

“RUN-EU fosters the free movement of researchers, scientific knowledge and innovation bringing together a new generation of creative Europeans, whereby ‘learning, studying and doing research’ enables our staff and students to cooperate across borders, languages, and disciplines, contributing to a more competitive European industry,” Dr Murray stated.


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