Belfast Telegraph

Ireland hockey captain honoured by university

Katie Mullan received an honorary degree from Ulster University
Katie Mullan received an honorary degree from Ulster University
Katie Mullan in action for Ireland

By Staff Reporter

The Northern Irish captain of Ireland's World Cup silver medal-winning ladies hockey team has been honoured by Ulster University.

Katie Mullan made sporting history in 2018 by leading the first ever Ireland team - in any sport - into a World Cup final.

Yesterday, she received an honorary Doctorate of Science (DSc) . 

The university described Katie as "an inspirational leader whose attitude, dedication and determination has assisted a team of young women to push their limits and achieve success".

Entering the 16-team tournament ranked 15th, Ireland, under the 24-year-old captain, gave a performance that changed expectations and ambitions within Irish sport.   

Starting her sporting career as a camogie player for Eoghan Rua CLG in her native Coleraine, it wasn't until she attended Dalriada Grammar School that Katie started playing hockey more seriously.

Inspired by her PE teacher and former Ireland hockey international, Bridget McKeever, she made her senior debut for Ireland in 2012, reaching a landmark of 100 caps by age 22. 

Following her success on the pitch, she has called for enhanced funding for female sport to redress the balance with male counterparts. She has sought to encourage and inspire women and girls to set and achieve their goals, to get involved with sport for all the physical, mental and social benefits it can offer, and inspire the next generation of Ireland's sporting heroes. 

Ms Mullan said: "I am so pleased to have received an honorary degree from Ulster University. I would like to dedicate this award to the students balancing studies with their sporting career and assure them that their tireless dedication and work ethic will take them far, wherever their path may lead."

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