Student Sport Ireland Event of the Year Award 2020 – Ashbourne Cup

Captains from all the teams taking part in the UPMC Ashbourne Cup, pictured at the launch in WIT Arena.

During the Student Sport Ireland Network 2020 webinar the Ashbourne Cup Finals weekend hosted by Waterford Institute of Technology was awarded the Student Sport Ireland Event of the Year Award.

The event took place on February 15th and 16th in the WIT Arena, with 14 teams taking part and approximately 500 players taking to the field. WIT Viking Sport signed up to the 20×20 Third Level Members Charter and felt that “the hosting of this year’s event was part of our commitment to Student Sport Irelands’ 20×20 Women in Sport Charter” said Katie Redmond WIT Vikings GAA Development Officer.

There was a number of people involved in the months of planning and preparation for the weekend including WIT Vikings GAA, WIT Viking Sport Staff, WIT students and the CCAO Committee, ensuring the success of the weekend. Storm Dennis threatened to ruin the weekend, but careful planning and rescheduling meant that all the games went ahead.

Having a main sponsor on board for the first time in UPMC meant that the competition took on a new level of marketing and weekend merchandise was on sale for the first time. The Ashbourne Cup final was streamed live and it was viewed globally by over 10,000 on the day.

WIT celebrates its 50th year in existence in 2020, and the WIT Vikings GAA Club were celebrating the 20-year anniversary of its first ever Ashbourne Cup title, which they marked by hosting a reunion of players from 1999-2000. WIT Vikings also hosted a lifestyle workshop for the Waterford Under 14 camogie teams ensuring the future stars of the county have the appetite for the competition when they head for third level.

John Windle, Head of WIT Viking Sport & The WIT Arena spoke of the delight at winning the Student Sport Ireland Event of the Year Award, last won by Waterford IT in 2013 for hosting the O’Connor Cup, “We are delighted to have won this award and would like to thank all those involved in Student Sport Ireland for their support. It’s a reflection of the hard work, dedication and commitment from the team at WIT Vikings GAA and WIT Vikings Sport. The arrival of storm Dennis on the weekend of the event provided its own challenges but through collaboration and careful planning between the CCAO, Vikings Sport and the WIT Arena the event prevailed with 14 teams, over 500 participants from 29 counties partaking in a hugely enjoyable weekend”.

WIT Vikings GAA Development Officer, Katie Redmond added “the support of the CCAO and event sponsor UMPC coupled with the fantastic support from our student body ensured the success of this weekend. The event also provided us with an opportunity to look back by hosting the 20-year reunion of the WIT Ashbourne Cup winning team whilst also looking after the future by hosting a workshop for the current Waterford U14 Camogie team. We are very grateful to all at Student Sport Ireland in selecting us as winners of this award”.