College has seen a 55 per cent increase in the number of active staff members since 2015, as part of Trinity Sport’s Raising Our Game strategy.
Raising Our Game, an integrated plan for sport in the university launched in 2015, also saw participation in Trinity’s organised sports classes increase by 157 per cent in the last five years.
The plan, which promised to “re-establish the University as a leading force in all aspects of third-level sport”, saw €13 million invested into various facets of Trinity’s sporting infrastructure.
It focused broadly on increasing participation in sport among staff, students and members, as well as improving the “performance environment and structure” for athletes and teams training and competing at Trinity.
In a press statement, Michelle Tanner, the head of sport and recreation at Trinity Sport, said: “We are delighted to release the results of our first integrated strategy for sport and reflect on how far we have come since the launch of the strategy in 2015.”
“Trinity Sport will continue to build on the success of the ‘Raising Our Game’ strategy, we’ve raised our game – now it’s time to play our best game”, she added.
The strategic programme included a heavy emphasis on four “focus sports” – rugby, rowing, hockey and GAA. The results show that since 2015, focus sport teams have enjoyed 29 league, cup, varsity and Colours wins. Trinity athletes competing in focus sports have won 20 national caps since the launch of the initiative.
Trinity Sport also secured an investment from College as part of the programme, which was used to fund a support system for “high-performing athletes”. Currently, there are 240 athletes studying at Trinity that benefit from this support system.
The announcement of six former international athletes and students of the university as Trinity Sport ambassadors also worked to increase the body’s profile, both on campus and externally. Ambassadors include All-Ireland winner Nicole Owens and ex-rugby international Hugo MacNeill.
The completion of the sporting facilities at Santry Avenue was a major part of the strategic plan to improve conditions for athletes at Trinity. Overall usage of the facilities has increased 125 per cent since 2015, according to Trinity Sport.
Trinity currently maintains the facilities at the Iveagh Grounds, the latest addition to its property portfolio dedicated to sport. College purchased the Crumlin property from Diageo in 2017 as part of the programme.
The results note that Trinity Sport’s income has increased by 50 per cent since the beginning of the programme’s implementation, with 48 per cent sourced from “sponsorship and business development activity”.
Prof Kevin O’Kelly, the dean of students and chair of the Raising Our Game Strategy Group said in a press statement: “The strategy group set out an ambitious target from the inception of the ‘Raising Our Game’ strategy for sport, it is wonderful to see the positive outcomes such as the development of Printing House Square and also the Sports Centre reconfiguration project which was completed in 2017.”
“These results directly benefit Trinity students as the range and diversity of sporting opportunities available to Trinity students are a key part of campus life and integral to the Trinity student experience”, he said.