NRC opens NI first GAA Academy

At the launch Enda Muldoon, recently retired player and now a member of Derry County's coaching and development team, shared some coaching tips with Trevor Neilands, NRC Director and John Keenan, Chairman of Derry County Board.
At the launch Enda Muldoon, recently retired player and now a member of Derry County's coaching and development team, shared some coaching tips with Trevor Neilands, NRC Director and John Keenan, Chairman of Derry County Board.
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NORTHERN Regional College is to open the first GAA Academy to provide full National Diploma courses. The GAA Academy will be based in NRC Magherafelt campus and is backed by Derry County Board.

The two-year National Diploma course, equivalent to three A Levels, will be open to 18 students in the new academic year starting September 2012. Course content will include principles of anatomy and physiology in sport, physiology of fitness, assessing risk in sport, practical team and individual sports and other disciplines. NRC Director Trevor Neilands says the GAA Academy is the result of a long term development strategy.

“NRC has the closest links with industry, business and now sports,” says Mr Neilands. “We started with a successful Golf Academy near our Ballymena campus and which is headed by Open Champion Darren Clarke. This was followed earlier this year with the announcement that NRC was to join forces with the new Michael Hughes Football Academy in Carrickfergus serviced by our NRC Newtownabbey campus.

“The GAA Academy will be the first to offer a full range of academic courses as well as top level GAA football training and we are delighted to be working closely with Derry County Board to ensure the highest standards of training and education for the first intake of students in September.”

The GAA Academy will be directed by Adrian McNeice, NRC’s head of sport. He says the course is based at Magherafelt but could be extended to other campuses in the future.

“South Derry has a long tradition of GAA excellence particularly in football and our new offer of a National Diploma course conducted in a GAA Academy will have huge attractions for young sportspeople,” says Mr McNeice. “If it proves successful NRC would very much like to see it replicated in other campuses.”