An intense summer of competition for Irish rower Paul O’Donovan ended last week as he competed in the World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria, but a new challenge is only beginning for the Olympic, world and European medallist, as he starts the graduate-entry medicine course at the University College Cork. O’Donovan was a recipient of UCC’s highest sporting accolade, the Quercus Scholarship. The Quercus Talented Students’ Programme is aimed at supporting and promoting excellence in academia, sport, creative and performing arts, active citizenship and innovation/entrepreneurship for both prospective undergraduate students and students already registered in UCC.
“The scholarship recognises sporting excellence and Paul embodies all that the programme could wish for in a Quercus scholar,” said Professor John O’Halloran, UCC deputy president and director of the Quercus Talented Students’ Programme. O’Donovan secured entry to UCC’s medicine programme after achieving an honours degree in physiotherapy from University College Dublin. Paul, along with his brother Gary and two other UCC Quercus Scholars, Ronan Byrne a Nutritional Sciences student, in the heavyweight double sculls and Aoife Casey, a club-mate of O’Donovan at Skibbereen in the lightweight double sculls are competed at the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Currently, the brothers are looking to compete in the finals on the weekend of the 16th, having easily solidified their place in the quarter finals, following their first performance with a blistering win in their semi-final.