Munster Rugby Academy HETAC Graduation
6th March 2008 By Munster Rugby
The first ever HETAC conferrings for the Diploma in Professional Rugby Studies in this country took place on Friday Feb 22nd, with seven members of the Munster Rugby Academy receiving their diplomas at a special graduation ceremony at the Radisson SAS Hotel Little Island, Cork.
The Special Purposes Level 7 Diploma, was awarded by HETAC (Higher Education & Training Award Council) in recognition of three years of educational and rugby work undertaken by members of the Academy.
Tom Gleeson, Gerry Hurley, Anthony Kavanagh, Mark Melbourne, Ross Noonan and Gary Walsh were all presented with their diplomas, with Darragh Hurley conferred in abstentia as he was receiving his first Ireland A cap in Scotland. Anthony Kavanagh was also recognized as the Student of the Year and received a special award in this regard.
The graduates were presented with their diplomas by Garrett Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Munster Rugby, with Tadhg O’hEalaithe represented HETAC at the Award Ceremony. Hamish Adams, who has managed the Munster Rugby Academy since its inception in 2004 made a brief introduction and called all the players to receive their awards.
The Awards Ceremony and dinner was organised by the Munster Rugby Supporters Club, who have close ties with the Munster Rugby Academy through their ongoing financial support. All graduating and present members of the Academy as well as their parents and partners were invited to attend.
Also in attendance was Donal Lenihan, Chairman of the Munster Rugby Academy Board, who took the opportunity to thank Hamish Adams for his work in setting up the Academy and also the Supporters Club for their support.
Garrett Fitzgerald spoke of the benefit of the Academy to Munster and the desire for the role of the Academy in shaping the students as individuals as well as rugby players.
On behalf of the Academy Players, Duncan Williams made a gift presentation to Hamish Adams who has recently left his post as Manager of the Academy to take up a position within IRUPA. Ian Sherwin has been announced as his replacement.
Credit: Eileesh Buckley/MRSC
When the formalities were concluded, a competition whereby guests had to recognize members of the Academy from baby photographs and blacked out action photographs was held, with prizes that were generously provided by Athenaeum House Hotel and Munster Sports Travel. There were three tied in first place, but drawn at random, and first prize was awarded to Billy Holland.