The Ulster Rugby Academy received a massive boost on Tuesday when the Bank of Ireland presented the Academy High Performance Development Manager Gary Longwell with a cheque for £25,000.
The money was raised through sales of Ulster Rugby’s Bank of Ireland MasterCard, which was launched last February and has the potential to generate approximately £500,000 for Ulster Rugby over the next three years.
In addition to receiving a one-off payment for each account opened, Ulster Rugby will receive a further contribution for each purchase made using the card.
Ulster Rugby Chief Executive Michael Reid said: “This is a tremendous boost for Ulster Rugby as we prepare to start the season and we are delighted with this first, very significant contribution from the Ulster Rugby credit card. As more and more rugby followers in Ulster get behind the initiative we will be able to generate more funding for rugby at the grass-roots and through our Academy, developing the next generation of Ulster and Ireland players.”
A perfect example of the sterling work that the Ulster Rugby Academy does is Ulster and Ireland back rower Stephen Ferris who will play for Ireland against Scotland in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match at Murrayfield. Ferris only left the Ulster Rugby Academy at the end of the 2004/05 season and has cemented his place in the Ulster senior squad and is currently chasing a place in Eddie O’Sullivan’s World Cup squad.
In addition to supporting the Ulster Rugby Academy and nurturing the next generation of Ulster and Ireland players, supporters signing up for the credit card can also nominate a rugby club or school that will also benefit by receiving a portion of the one-off payment. For more information on the scheme, please visit www.UlsterRugby.com and click on the Bank of Ireland Credit Card section.