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The University of Ulster played host to winning team players from 52 Ulster Colleges, recognised for their personal sporting achievements in both hurling and football competitions, at the launch of the BT Future Stars Academy yesterday.

Created and developed by BT, in association with the University’s Ulster Sports Academy and Ulster Colleges, the initiative involves a full programme of personal coaching tailored specifically to support and prepare the winning players for a successful sporting future.

The one-day event allowed the student players to benefit from a series of specifically tailored workshops, hosted by recognised experts on sporting fitness, psychology and nutrition.

Speaking at the event yesterday, William Moore, Performance Services Co-ordinator in Sports Services at the University of Ulster, said: “Focusing on the strength and conditioning of both mind and body is essential for every athlete. The winning captains and players here today have proved they have the necessary skills and ability to lead a successful team and our focus today is to help them recognise the expertise that is out there and available to each and every player to help them achieve their personal sporting ambitions.”

Peter Morris, Consumer Director at BT Northern Ireland said: “The BT Future Stars Academy is a fantastic new idea designed to both reward and recognise the achievements of our winning captains and players.

“Through the workshops practical help, support and guidance is on offer for all the players. High performance and the creation of high performing teams is something very dear to our hearts at BT as we strive to be recognised as number one for customer service in our own business. Commitment, hard work, leadership and dedication, are the cornerstones of any team leader and I’m delighted that through our mentors we’re providing all the players with help to achieve their full potential.  On behalf of BT, I would like to congratulate all 52 skilled players we are rewarding here today.” 

BT has supported the GAA at grassroots level for the past 10 years, through the Ulster Colleges under-16s and the extended partnership to support the under-18 level.