GPA Friendly Education Institutions

National Network of Elite Athlete Friendly Educational Institutions

Click Here to download the information document.

The GPA is piloting a new programme consisting of a publicly listed network of athlete friendly institutions that adopt the GPA’s guiding principles within their policies and/or systems to support elite athletes to achieve academic excellence. These institutions will endeavour to commit fully to the principles of these guidelines during the pilot.  

A full review of the programme will be held at the end of 2014/2015 academic year.  

What is a player friendly Institute?

Athlete friendly institutions recognise the level of time and resources GPA playing student members invest in their sporting lives. They adopt the agreed guiding principles within their policies and/or systems to support GPA Members in achieving academic and sporting aspirations.   

Do the GPA members entry requirements change?

No, GPA members must still meet the normal entry requirements, and any special course requirements for all programmes of study. GPA members may be eligible for consideration for specific sports scholarship entry routes determined by member institutions. GPA members must apply for this scholarship through the normal college scholarship application process.

What is the GPA student member’s responsibility?

The student must endeavour to commit fully to their programme of study and act responsibly. As part of the normal student contract with the Institution, the student will commit to the requirements of the programme of study. Notwithstanding instances of unforeseen circumstances arising, the student must ensure that all requests must be submitted in writing and with sufficient notice to college authorities.

What does the GPA member get from the programme?

If GPA student members adhere to their responsibilities above, participating institutions will use best endeavour to facilitate the following;

1.       A nominated staff contact within the college

This staff member will provide guidance/advice to the GPA member on matters affecting them as a student player. They will also act as a liaison officer between the college and the student to negotiate possible flexibility to meet academic and sporting requirements.

2.       Assessment Deadlines  

A request must be submitted in writing (three weeks) in advance to the appropriate college authority. Where possible, the provision of alternative and/or flexible assessment deadlines based on sporting related commitments. This can only be accessed in extreme circumstances.

3.       Tutorial times

Institutions will endeavour to provide timetables early in the semester so students/class reps can flag it as early as possible if attendance based classes will severely clash with training/travel commitments. Flexibility for alternative times can be discussed, where playing commitments prevent the GPA member attending. Where possible, the college will provide  alternative tutorial times to accomadate GPA members.

4.       Exams

Ability to utilise current deferral systems to extend minimum time to complete course due to extenuating sporting demands. This must be discussed in advance with nominated staff contact.

If I have an issue, what do I do?

Contact your nominated college contact or e-mail the GPA -

Tips for GPA Student Playing Members

-          Scholarships

  • If you are offered a college sports/other scholarship, ensure you have the terms and conditions of the scholarship in writing before you accept the offer.
  • Talk to the GPA if you are unsure about your commitments under your scholarship
  • Ensure you clearly understand, in writing, the entitlements you will be receiving and when you will get them. 

-          Time Management

  • Talk to the GPA
  • Talk to your county/club/college managers about your training and college timetables. Ensure to let managers know if you are experiencing stress regarding managing your academic and sporting commitments.

-          Rest/Recovery/Sleep

  • Managing an inter-county career, a college timetable and assignments/exam dates can affect players mentally and physically, frequently due to a lack of rest and recovery. To achieve sporting and academic goals, it is vital that players ensure they get sufficient rest time and avoid fatigue

-          Well Being

  • Playing student members are particularly vulnerable to emotional health and well being issues due to the various challenges associated with managing life as a student and player. This can lead to reduced wellbeing and reduced performance on and off field. The GPA has a number of supports in place to assist. Just log in to your account to access our services or email us today. 

-          Education advice

  • Talk to us about course choice or if you are having difficulty with any element of your studies. We are here to support you. 

Institute Name

Contact Name

Contact E-Mail

Logo & Link

Mary Immaculate College of Education

Dr Richard Bowles

St Patrick’s College Drumcondra


Dr Padraig Ó Duibhir           

Marino Institute of Education

Gene Mehigan

Mater Dei

William Murphy

Queen’s University

Wilma Fee

Ulster University

Jim Lowther

St Mary’s University College

Eilis Mc Ateer

Athlone I.T.

Gordon Brett

I.T. Blanchardstown

Pat O’Connor


Donal Mc Nally


Dara Biddlecombe

Galway Mayo I.T.

Michael Murray


Letterkenny I.T

Paddy Gallagher

I.T. Sligo

Alan Kelly

I.T. Tallaght

John Vickery

I.T. Tralee

Pat Mc Garty

Waterford I.T.

Cathy Pembroke


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