Sky announce five recipients of Women’s National Team bursary

Monday 25 July 2022

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The €25,000 ‘Sky WNT Fund’ has been awarded to five players to support their careers and academic studies off the pitch

Sky Ireland, proud Primary Partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team, has today announced the five recipients of the inaugural Sky WNT Fund. The Sky bursary is designed to support members of the senior women’s team on their paths outside of football. Today’s announcement follows the unveiling of the fund earlier this year, on March 8th, International Women’s Day.

The judging panel – consisting of Sky Ireland’s Chief Commercial, Orlaith Ryan, Freelance Sports Journalist, Clíona Foley and chair of the FAI Women's Football Strategic Committee, Sally Horrox – met to review all submissions and select the final five recipients.

Research conducted earlier this year from Sky showed that 8 out of 10 adults believe the WNT is something Irish people should be proud of and is deserving of our support. As part of growing this commitment, Sky is helping players during and after their football careers on its mission to support and empower talent.

The Sky WNT Fund will this year assist five Women’s National Team players with their academic studies and career development off the pitch. The worthy recipients of the 2022 Sky WNT Fund and receiving €5,000 each are:

o Éabha O'Mahony – Éabha is currently studying at Boston College and the bursary will help fund her college fees.

o Áine O'Gorman – Áine applied to the Sky WNT Fund for support funding the UEFA A coaching licence. 

o Saoirse Noonan – Saoirse will use the bursary to help build her clothing brand, Freedom Official Clothing.

o Ellen Molloy – Ellen is progressing into third level education and the fund will help support her college fees.

o Grace Moloney – Grace is planning to use her funding for the UEFA A coaching licence.

Any senior Women’s National Team player could apply for funding when entries opened earlier this year and applicants completed a short form, where they were asked to showcase how the funding would assist their career development or academic studies.

Speaking about the Sky WNT Fund, Chief Commercial Officer at Sky Ireland, Orlaith Ryan, said: “We were blown away and humbled by the commitment showcased by the entrants to the inaugural Sky WNT Fund. A lot of these players are juggling full time studies, careers and businesses while playing at the very top level for Ireland. The passion and commitment all players have shown is remarkable. We were faced with the very difficult decision of picking just five recipients from the eighteen entries received. “

“We want to thank every player who entered this year - we were faced with the very difficult decision of picking just five recipients from the eighteen entries received. Therefore, as part of Sky’s ongoing commitment to our Women’s National Team, we will make the Sky WNT Fund an annual bursary so we can continue to help these women grow both on and off the pitch.”

Women’s National Team player & 2022 Sky WNT Fund recipient, Saoirse Noonan, said: “The commitment Sky has shown the players since coming onboard in 2021 has been phenomenal. The team was delighted to hear of this fund earlier this year. I know what it’s like to be juggling education, my playing career and a business. I am completing my degree in Cork while also getting my clothing business ‘Freedom Official’ off the ground. This bursary will go towards relieving some of the financial strain from college fees but also towards getting ‘Freedom Official’ to that next step in business.”

The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team take on Finland at Tallaght Stadium, on September 1st 2022. This is a key fixture in the WNT's World Cup qualifying campaign. We're calling on the whole country to join us and show your support for our Girls in Green. Tickets for this important fixture go on sale from Wednesday 27th July at 11:00.

For further information, please contact:

Brian McCormack, Sky Ireland: 087 719 8562

Caoimhe Butler, FleishmanHillard: 085 111 3766

About Sky:

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 23 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.

Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love – with entertainment from Sky TV, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, and apps like Spotify, YouTube, ROXi, Highbrow, Fiit, and more, in one place, easy. Our streaming service, NOW, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Bulletproof and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in between. Sky Cinema is the home of Sky Original films with brand new films launching every month alongside an unrivalled range of the latest cinema releases and on demand library. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which will open in 2022, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26 - the UN Climate Change Conference. We take

pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity, and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation. We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice.

Sky employs just under 1000 people in Ireland with over 750 of those based at its Head Office in Burlington Road in Dublin. As part of our Sky Cares programme, we teamed up with Age Action to support the charity in its mission to achieve fundamental change in the lives of older people. In 2021, Sky Ireland became the first ever, standalone Primary Partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team.

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