Lisa Kearney, a second year combined studies student and Sports Scholar, has had a fantastic end to the year by finishing in the top five in six of her last seven Judo World Cup events.
The support I receive from the University through the Sports Scholarship Programme is invaluable
Lisa picked up a Gold at a competition in Samoa, Silver in El Salvador and Bronze in the UK, in a recent Judo competition programme.
The success has helped in her quest to qualify for the next Olympics in London 2012. To do so Lisa must earn enough qualification points and be ranked in the top 14 athletes in the world in her weight category, a feat that is now within her sights with around 18 months to go.
"I am really happy with the way in which I have finished the season", says the 21 year old Irish athlete. "I was unfortunate to pick up five quite serious injuries in the past two years and it was difficult to find my form when I returned to competition.
"However, I did not let that effect me and I continued to train hard and it's starting to pay off. Qualification for the Olympics closes in April 2012 so it is important that my results continue through to qualification and then onto the games themselves."
Lisa is part of the Sports Scholarship Programme at the University which allows her to study on a part time basis while training full time for her Judo. Without this support Lisa does not think she would be able to attend University at all.
Lisa said, "The support I receive from the University through the Sports Scholarship Programme is invaluable as it allows me to receive additional flexibility with my course to allow me to train daily and compete across the world. I am grateful to the support offered by the staff in the Centre for Sport and Exercise, and to my mentor Alexander Bell, for their ongoing support."
In addition to those thanked above, Lisa is also grateful to the support offered by SINI and the Irish Institute as well as Scottish Judo for supporting her training programme.
For further information on Lisa or the Sports Scholarship Programme, please contact Ross Campbell, Sports Programme Manager.