Injured Ireland internationals Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones joined fellow Shannon RFC players Stephen Keogh and Mossy Lawlor at Thomond Park today to launch the club’s new home jersey, which will now feature the ‘Think Big’ logo, in conjunction with O2.
‘Think Big’ is a programme designed by O2 and Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, to enable young people to do projects in their community that will make a difference to their own mental health and that of others.
Shannon RFC is showing its support for Think Big during the forthcoming Ulster Bank League, which kicks off for Shannon this Saturday with a game against Cork side Dolphin.
O2 has supported Shannon RFC since 2003. The new logo and message will help to further raise the profile of Think Big in Limerick and the surrounding area.
Sinead Smith, Corporate Responsibility Manager at O2, said: “Shannon players are deeply involved in their communities and we believe that they will be great ambassadors for the Think Big programme.
“Through our partnership with Shannon RFC we hope to get the word out there about Think Big, and encourage young people around Limerick to come up with projects in their communities that will make a difference to their mental health.
“O2 is already part of the local community of Limerick where our customer care centre is based. I am delighted that over 40 of our employees have volunteered to mentor Think Big projects around Limerick.”
Shannon’s new player-coach Stephen Keogh, speaking at today’s announcement, said: “We are delighted to be showing our support for Think Big on our shirts – it is a wonderful programme that helps young people make a difference in their communities.
“I have seen many times the positive impact that sport can have on young people’s mental health, so it is great that Shannon can wear the Think Big logo with pride on our jerseys.”
Nuala Smith, Youth Participation Officer for Headstrong, added: “Through our partnership with O2 and the Think Big campaign, we are encouraging young people to change how their communities think about young people and their mental health.
“Every project idea is a potentially good one – and we want to hear them all. So I’d encourage all young people in Limerick and the surrounding area to submit their project ideas now through www.o2thinkbig.ie.”
Since its launch in September 2010, Think Big has funded over 60 projects throughout the country, including Footsy Friday, a project by the 22-year-old Jonathan Collins from Garryowen in Limerick.
“Jonathan is planning a once-off astro soccer tournament for Under-15 five-a-side teams from all over Limerick. Each team will have a bespoke jersey, featuring positive mental health slogans.
Jonathan attended the launch today along with his project mentor from O2’s customer care centre in Limerick, Susan Carver.
The Think Big programme is open to any young person in the Republic of Ireland, aged between 14 and 25, with an idea for a project that will make a difference to young people’s mental health.
In addition to receiving funding to help get the project up and running, each Think Big project group will get support from O2 and Headstrong in the form of mentoring and training to help them to bring their proposal to life. They also receive a mobile phone (with €;50 credit), and a Think Big start-up pack.
For more information on the Think Big programme, log on to www.o2thinkbig.ie.