Galway’s Cathal Daniels awarded Olympic Scholarship in preparation for Tokyo 2020

  • 27 November 2017, 19:40

The Olympic Council of Ireland have announced that Irish Eventing rider Cathal Daniels is among 12 athletes who
have been awarded Olympic Solidarity Scholarships to assist with qualification and preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Irish Eventing rider Cathal Daniels at the OCI Tokyo Summer Scholarship announcement, where it was announced that 12 athletes will receive IOC Olympic Solidarity Scholarships to aid with training and preparations for Tokyo 2020 #TeamIreland (Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

Twenty one-year-old Daniels from Loughrea, Co Galway already has several international championship medals to his name at underage level, including both team and individual gold at the 2012 European Pony (U16) Championships in 2012 and a team bronze medal at the Young Rider (U21) European championships in 2015. Despite his relatively young age, he has produced several young horses up to international level.

Daniels is one of the up and coming stars in the sport of Eventing and his current string of horses includes Sammy Davis Junior (ISH) and Rioghan Rua (ISH) – both owned by Margaret Kinsella and the Michelle Nelson-owned 12-year-old gelding OLS Back Chat (ISH).

Each of the scholarship recipients will receive a monthly payment up until the Tokyo Olympic Games due to be held in August 2020. Athletes will also receive additional funding to assist with travel costs in connection with competing at qualification events.

In order to be eligible, athletes must be competing at international level in an Olympic discipline that will feature at Tokyo 2020 and have the technical ability to qualify for the Games as demonstrated through recent results.

Funding provided under the scholarship scheme will cease prior to 2020 if the athletes for any reason become ineligible to qualify for Tokyo. Priority is given to athletes not in receipt of funding from any other source.

Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said:

“I want to congratulate Cathal on receiving this Scholarship which will no doubt help his preparations during this Olympic cycle. This is a fantastic initiative from the International Olympic Committee and Olympic Council of Ireland. With just 12 places up for grabs across all the Olympic sports, Horse Sport Ireland are obviously delighted to have secured funding for one of our equestrian athletes.”

The full list of athletes to receive Scholarships are as follows:

Cathal Daniels (Equestrian), Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Athletics), Nhat Nguyen (Badminton), Liam Jegou (Canoeing), Mark Downey (Cycling), Ian O’Sullivan (Clay Pigeon Shooting), Leona Maguire (Golf), Rhys McClenaghan (Gymnastics), Megan Fletcher (Judo), Denise Walsh (Rowing), Mona McSharry (Swimming) and Jack Woolley (Takewondo) are the recipients, along with the men’s hockey side.

The OCI submitted the application to the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Solidarity Fund on behalf of 12 Irish athletes, having first invited each of Ireland’s National Sporting Federations to nominate qualifying athletes from their individual sports.

The IOC awarded the OCI eight scholarships and one team scholarship but the OCI’s Executive Board decided to invest an additional €140,000 to bring the number of scholarships awarded up to the maximum of 12 permissible under the scheme.

OCI president Sarah Keane said: “Funding is crucial to performance sport which, by its nature given the international competition, not to mention travel, expert coaching, equipment and sport science and medicine involved, is resource intensive.

“We are delighted that we have secured funding from the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity Fund to support some of Ireland’s Olympic hopefuls and also that the OCI are in a position to invest some additional funds to bring the total number of athletes benefiting from the scholarship programme to 12.

“It is a testament to the work by the athletes themselves and those involved in Ireland’s sport performance programmes that we have such an exciting group of talented athletes across a range of different sports determined to represent Ireland at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“It is fantastic to be able to provide some level of financial support to assist them in their quest to secure Olympic qualification.”

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