GMIT and Galway GAA announce strategic alliance to develop sports-related courses

Thursday, June 23, 2016 Press Office
Press Release

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and Galway GAA have announced the beginning of a strategic relationship for the delivery of the Institute’s new flagship programme, the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sport and Exercise Science, and the development of new academic programmes and research, which will be of mutual benefit to both organisations. 

The agreement, which will come into effect later this year, will mean that GMIT will base its new B.Sc. (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science in Lár Ionad, Galway GAA’s Centre of Excellence at Loughgeorge, which houses state-of-the-art gymnasium and training facilities.  GMIT will provide learning technologies in the new extension currently under development at Loughgeorge as well as the use of scientific equipment to enhance the existing facilities.

Under the agreement, GMIT will provide Sports Science services to Galway GAA and it is anticipated that this area of activity will grow and be of significant benefit for player development at all age grades.  GMIT has been building expertise in this area and has gathered together a dynamic academic and technical team to support its new degree and research projects.

Dr Fergal Barry, President of GMIT, stated: “This is an important relationship for GMIT and fits with our ethos of working closely with other organisations in the region.” 

Dr Des Foley, Head of the School of Science and Computing in GMIT, added: “The developing relationship with Galway GAA will strengthen our Sports and Exercise programme and research and we, in return, will  make our expertise available to Galway GAA to support their plans in this area.”

John Hynes, CEO of Galway GAA, commented that this was an important alliance: “This exciting new alliance with GMIT will help support Galway GAA’s ambitious plans to significantly enhance our Player Development Programmes and create the foundations for future success.”

The two organisations will also explore other areas of benefit to the region especially in the area of promotion of physical activity in young people.

The new four year year, full-time, honours science degree in Sport and Exercise Science (GA790) is the first course of its kind in the west of Ireland. It prepares graduates to work in the growing areas of sport performance and health-related exercise science. The course can now be applied for through the Central Applications Office (CAO) through the Change of Mind option, up until 1 July.

Students will learn how to apply scientific principles in order to understand and enhance sport and exercise performance, health and well-being. The course will prepare them to work in the world of sport, helping athletes and teams achieve optimum performance.  It will also prepare graduates for work in the health sector, helping individuals to manage or prevent lifestyle-related chronic diseases through training and physical activity.

The new course has been designed by Dr Lisa Ryan, Head of the GMIT Dept of Natural Sciences, who will lecture on the programme.  Dr Ryan holds a first class honours degree in Nutritional Science and a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry and is widely published in this area. Dr Ryan has a very keen interest in Sport and Exercise Nutrition and outside of her formal academic role has worked as a sports nutritionist for a number of rugby, hockey and AFL teams.  While in the UK, she worked with some of the triathletes and cyclists for the 2012 Olympics.

For full details on the programme, visit:…  or contact Dr Lisa Ryan, Head of the GMIT Department of Natural Sciences, tel. 091 742556, email