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Irish Stars Launch Ulster Bank RugbyForce

Irish Stars Launch Ulster Bank RugbyForce

Some of Ireland’s top club rugby players lined out in their Ulster Bank League strips at Old Wesley RFC – flanked by Irish rugby stars Sean O’Brien, Sean Cronin and Shane Jennings – to launch Ulster Bank’s RugbyForce, an initiative which provides rugby clubs with support to renovate their club and upgrade their facilities.

Ulster Bank introduced the Ulster Bank RugbyForce programme last season, after joining forces with the IRFU to become their ‘Official Community Rugby Partner’.

Now, in their first full season as sponsors of the Ulster Bank League, Ulster Bank rugby ambassador and Ireland and Munster rugby legend Alan Quinlan is calling on clubs across Ireland to enter the programme.

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Ulster Bank RugbyForce

Speaking at the Ulster Bank launch, Quinlan said: “With the success of the Irish national team and the outstanding development of our provincial sides in recent years, support for Irish rugby has seen a dramatic increase.

“The focus on young player development is at an all-time high and thankfully, this professional development has been fed into rugby clubs across the country.

“Every week, exceptionally talented players line out for their clubs in crunching showdowns. For rugby fans who haven’t witnessed a game in their local club – try one and you’ll be hooked.”

Rugby fans can now get the latest club and international rugby content on the go, with the Ulster Bank Rugby iPhone app.

Ulster Bank League fixtures, results, news and analysis can be accessed on Ulster Bank’s rugby Facebook and Twitter pages.

Rugby clubs can enter RugbyForce on Ulster Bank’s dedicated rugby website – www.ulsterbank.com/rugby  – where extensive analysis and information on previous RugbyForce winners can also be found.

Ulster Bank RugbyForce encourages rugby supporters, their friends and families to give something back to their local community and rugby club by volunteering to undertake renovations to clubhouses and grounds.

Every registered club will be provided with online guidance and tools, and the first 25 clubs will also receive an increased support pack that includes €;250 worth of materials, t-shirts for volunteers and an Ulster Bank RugbyForce plaque.

Four lucky clubs (one from each province) will also be selected for a very special makeover. They will be awarded with €;5,000 of goods and resources to use during their planned Ulster Bank RugbyForce weekend. Clubs must register for Ulster Bank RugbyForce online by April 13.

The initiative is part of RBS Group’s, Ulster Bank’s parent company, wider RugbyForce programme that is delivered with their retail divisions partners across the UK.

In partnership with the respective rugby unions and underpinned by their sponsorship of the RBS 6 Nations, the initiative helps clubs at the grassroots of the game to improve their facilities. Since RugbyForce’s launch in 2009 it has attracted over 850 clubs to register.

Also speaking at the launch, Ellvena Graham, Chief Operating Officer, Ulster Bank, said: “Ulster Bank RugbyForce had an outstanding inaugural year. The programme presents an opportunity for local communities to pull together to improve their club’s facilities.

“Rugby clubs are the pride of their local communities and this initiative will provide a massive boost to clubs and their communities across Ireland.”

Last May, four rugby clubs (one from each province) – from over 70 who registered to take part in Ulster Bank RugbyForce – received one of the up-weighted support packs.

Ballina RFC in Mayo, Thomond RFC in Limerick, Wexford Wanderers RFC and Ballymoney RFC in Antrim were awarded support packages of €;5,000 each.

Renovations and refurbishments in these clubs included the installation of disabled facilities, upgrading of changing rooms to cater for increased female membership and sufficient drainage systems for pitches.

Speaking about Ulster Bank RugbyForce, IRFU President John Hussey said: “I would encourage all rugby clubs to enter the Ulster Bank RugbyForce initiative.

“It is a unique way of providing an added incentive for helping clubs maintain their facilities. It also provides a fantastic opportunity to bring members, players and supporters together to improve their local club.”

The winning clubs will receive:
• Goods and resources up to the value of €;5,000 to go towards the club’s RugbyForce weekend
• 50 t-shirts for the volunteer workforce
• Support material including on-line tools
• Enhanced media support
• Commemorative Ulster Bank RugbyForce plaque
• Terms and conditions apply and can be found at www.ulsterbank.com/rugby

The Increased support pack for the first 25 clubs includes:
• Goods and resources up to the value of €;250 to go towards the club’s RugbyForce weekend
• 20 t-shirts for the volunteer workforce
• Support material including on-line tools
• Enhanced media support
• Commemorative Ulster Bank RugbyForce plaque
• All clubs – even those who do not win – can still participate by using the online toolkit to help organise an event to improve club facilities and galvanise community support

Related Links –

Ulster Bank RugbyForce