New signings at UCC and Cork City Football Club in a league of their own

*University College Cork* (UCC) and the *Mardyke Arena UCC* are delighted to announce a partnership with *Cork City Football Club *(CCFC), which recognises the educational value of sport.

Under the four-year partnership, which begins 1 January 2013, scholarship opportunities will be available to a number of players signed to CCFC who are offered undergraduate places in UCC. This deepening of the relationship between UCC and sport and the community will also see the word-class Mardyke Arena UCC sporting facility work closely with CCFC players and staff. The Mardyke Arena UCC will become the preferred choice provider of Performance Analysis Services for the Airtricity Premier Division team, fitness and strength and conditioning expertise and player rehabilitation programmes. This will assist CCFC in reviewing and improving game and individual player performance.

The Performance Laboratory at the Mardyke will also facilitate squad-training sessions at their elite facility for both fitness testing and health screening. Access to rehabilitation sessions for any potential injuries incurred on the pitch is also provided for under the agreement.

In return, Cork City FC will provide sponsorship rights and other opportunities to UCC and the Mardyke Arena, including match day programme advertising, pitch side signage and on-going collaboration in promoting UCC and the Mardyke Arena as sponsors.

Speaking at the announcement, Cork City Chief Executive Tim Murphy said:“We are delighted to have agreed this partnership with such a well-known and highly respected Cork institution. This partnership will see two strong Cork brands working together and I am confident that there will be big benefits to both parties. Cork City Football Club is growing all the time, and I believe that working with University College Cork will be of great help in that regard. As a community owned club, we are proud to work with several strong Cork organisations, and the addition of UCC to our stable of partners is a significant one. I would like to thank Dr Michael Murphy and his team for their co-operation and assistance in putting this partnership together, and I greatly look forward to working with them.”

Patsy Ryan, General Manager, Mardyke Arena UCC comments: “We are very pleased that Cork City FC, one of the top Airtricity Premier Division teams in Ireland, has chosen the Mardyke Arena UCC as their preferred fitness, strength and conditioning, performance analysis and player rehabilitation provider for the next four years. Together we hope to achieve great success and in the process raise the profile of the Mardyke Arena UCC and Cork City FC both nationally and internationally.”

The move symbolises UCC’s commitment to developing sport as part of the overall student experience in UCC, and in giving back to the community. The partnership is particularly timely given the series of events already held this year marking a centenary of sporting success at UCC (UCC Sport 1911-2011). Recent events include a unique honorary conferring ceremony held in September, which recognised some of Ireland’s greatest sportspeople, and the redevelopment of the Mardyke Arena in April. New elite sports scholarships were also announced in 2012, including the Roy Keane UCC Sport 100 Soccer Scholarship and the Michael J Dowling UCC Sport 100 Hurling Scholarship.

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