NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— The Atlantic 10 Conference has established a partnership with Sport Changes Life to participate in their Victory Scholarship Program designed to inspire young people to excel through a unique Irish international post-graduate scholarship program. Sport Changes Life will sponsor scholarships for A-10 student-athletes to attend graduate programs in leading universities in Ireland while acting as mentors with local, at-risk youth.
“This is an outstanding opportunity that is a win-win for everyone involved. Our student-athletes have the opportunity to earn advanced degrees abroad while continuing to play and coach in their sport. The youth involved in the Sport Changes Life programs will be partnered with the student-athletes as mentors in sports, school and life,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “The Atlantic 10 also receives the opportunity to extend globally through an initiative that is in step with our focus on academics, athletics and extraordinary opportunities.”
Administered by Sport Changes Life, the Victory Scholars program is designed to include A-10 student-athletes from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. They will continue to play their sport as part of the program, and will coach and mentor young people in neighboring local communities and gaining valuable work-life experience through internships, partnerships and friendships, cultural exchange and enrichment. This is in addition to the opportunity to pursue graduate programs at top universities in Ireland.
"Sport Changes Life is delighted to partner with the Atlantic 10 Conference. We are privileged to work with such a professional organization which aims to develop the true student-athlete. As an organization we work to raise the aspirations of young people on both sides of the Atlantic, working to establish a global initiative that benefits society by making positive changes using sporting role models,” said Gareth Maguire, CEO of the Sport Changes Life Foundation. “Our Victory scholars have the opportunity to enhance and develop their own lives while providing a positive and life changing experience to the youth they work with in the community. We passionately believe in the power of the student-athlete and the relationship with the Atlantic 10 will only strengthen our mission."
The initiative was embraced by the Atlantic 10’s Directors of Athletics, spearheaded by La Salle’s Dr. Tom Brennan, who has already had the Explorer Athletic Department participate in the program.
"Our partnership with The Victory Scholars Program will provide student-athletes with a once in a lifetime experience. We currently have students participating in the program and I know firsthand just how positive an experience it has been. The Atlantic 10 Conference should be complemented for its vision and its action in providing transformational type activity for its student-athletes," Brennan said.