New Tipperary sports facility described as ‘best in the world’

Minister Alan Kelly and Padraig Harrington at the opening ofLIT's SportsLab at the institute's Thurles Campus.
A third level Tipperary college has become the centre of one of the most high-tech sports facilities in the country.

A third level Tipperary college has become the centre of one of the most high-tech sports facilities in the country.

Three times golf Major champion Padraig Harrington described the LIT Tipperary centre as one of the finest in the world.

The €3.7m Sportslab on the Thurles campus of LIT Tipperary was officially opened last Thursday by Environment Minister Alan Kelly, who highlighted the new employment opportunities and the standard of training/education at the centre, as well as the ‘sport tourism’ potential of the facility, with domestic and international teams coming to the town to take advantage of the high tech facilities.

Through a combination of high-tech equipment and lecture staff expertise, the facility is the most unique centre in Europe for sports strength and conditioning, catering for 500 under and post graduate students each year.

The facilities and the expertise in the Sportslab will also be used by domestic and international athletes from all sports to help achieve optimum levels of strength and condition and ensure maximum performance. One of the key benefits arising from the programmes will be injury minimisation and recovery.

In addition to LIT’s 14 elite strength and conditioning lecturers, Setanta College - an international specialist in delivering coaching courses and founded by one of the world’s leading authorities in strength and conditioning, Tipp man Liam Hennessy - is an LIT partner at the centre.

He said - “Strength and conditioning is not only for elite athletes as they are at the top of the pyramid. Students coming through this programme will have the skill sets and technology to engage outside of elite sport, right through to all different sectors of the community, from child programmes through to the elderly and special populations.”

Students have the option of the four-year, Level 8 Bachelor of Science in Sports Strength and Conditioning course, while there is also a Level 9 Masters progamme and an online Level 9 Masters for international students. The first batch of students, 22 in all, will graduate with their Level 8 degree in the autumn,