WATCH: University of Limerick launches new MA sports journalism programme

Jess Casey

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Jess Casey

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University of Limerick officially launches new sports journalism programme

Jacqui Hurley, Keith Woods and Tony Leen launching the UL MA in Journalism, Sport at the University of Limerick this Monday PICTURE: SEAN CURTAIN TRUE MEDIA

A NEW course aimed at training the next generation of sports journalists has been launched this Monday at the University of Limerick.

Rugby icon Keith Wood, Irish Examiner sports editor Tony Leen and RTÉ sports presenter Jacqui Hurley are among the sports media industry figures who are involved in the new UL MA in Journalism, Sport programme.

“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,” course leader Dr Fergal Quinn said. 

“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,” he added. 

“We are also delighted to partner with prominent industry figures like Tony, Keith and Jacqui in doing so.”

The new programme is part of the continued growth of journalism at UL, according to UL head of journalism Mary Dundon. 

“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 ten years of 'Journalism@UL'," she added. 

As well as a number of journalism practice modules already offered on the current MA in Journalism, the sports pathway offers new modules on sports writing, sports communications, sports broadcasting and the sociology of sport.

“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,” Keith Wood said. 

“This course bridges the gap and offers the pathway to journalism and sports communications”

Sports writing has changed dramatically, according to Tony Leen. 

“From the platforms, to the style, to the urgency and dexterity required.” 

“But engaging, insightful writing trumps all,” he added. 

“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, 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."

The UL MA in Journalism, Sport programme will begin in September 2019.