A new course aimed at training the next generation of sports journalists has been launched in University of Limerick. Rugby icon Keith Wood, Irish Examiner sports Editor Tony Leen and RTE sports presenter Jacqui Hurley are among the top sports media industry figures who are involved in the MA in Journalism, Sport programme which gets underway in September 2019. As well as a number of journalism practice modules already offered on the long-running MA in Journalism course, the sports pathway offers new modules on Sports Writing, Sports Communications, Sports Broadcasting and the Sociology of Sport.Course leader Dr Fergal Quinn said he hoped the new offering would give a clearer pathway for people who are passionate about sports journalism and would like to learn more about all facets of it.

“This course is the first of its kind in the country and It is the first step in making UL a centre of excellence for learning about all facets of sports journalism and contributing to the future of the industry.“We have always had lots of students on our regular BA and MA in Journalism that wanted to do more sports related subjects and this caters for them specifically. We are also delighted to partner with prominent industry figures like Tony, Keith and Jacqui in doing so.”

KEITH WOOD: “Professional sport is all-consuming and the ability to harness the skills and knowledge to help prepare for the future while playing sport is a very difficult balancing act. This course bridges the gap and offers the pathway to journalism and sports communications”

TONY LEEN: “I am genuinely thrilled that UL is pioneering this academic avenue into sports writing. It is a timely stimulus for the craft in this country. Sportswriting has changed dramatically. From the platforms to the style to the urgency and dexterity required. But engaging, insightful writing trumps all. Those with a passion and flair for the varied forms of sportswriting will, I am sure, enjoy and learn from the journalistic challenges this new course will set. Our hope and expectation is that it will launch a new generation of writing talent for an audience that remains wildly passionate about sport.”According to RTE’s Jacqui Hurley said the strong sporting pedigree of University of Limerick made it a natural fit for extending into the world of Sports Journalism.

“I’m delighted to come back to UL, a place where I had so many great sporting memories myself, and help to grow the legacy with a new and exciting course, which will no doubt produce many great sports journalists of the future."

Professor Michael Griffin, Head of School of English, Irish and Communications: “The development of a graduate stream in sports journalism diversifies our core journalism offerings, connecting the School’s and the University’s activities to the region in exciting ways. UL is at the heart of a region that loves its sports, its sports punditry and sports-writing. Head of Journalism at UL Mary Dundon said this new programme is part of the continued growth of journalism at UL.

“We are delighted to be the first university in Ireland to respond to the demand for this specialist area in journalism in the same year that we are celebrating 10 years of Journalism@UL.”.
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