Over 30 local volunteers, club members and Ulster Bank staff lined-out in Newbridge Rugby Club last weekend as part of Ulster Bank RugbyForce – a community initiative which provides rugby clubs with support to renovate their club and upgrade their facilities.
Newbridge RFC was recently announced as the Leinster winner of a support package worth €;5,000. Three other rugby clubs – Munster’s Killarney RFC, Connacht’s Ballyhaunis RFC and Ulster’s Donaghadee RFC – were also announced as Ulster Bank RugbyForce winners.
As part of the Ulster Bank RugbyForce weekend, Newbridge RFC began the refurbishment of their changing room facilities, replacing essential training equipment and medical kits and the resurfacing of the club car park.
Niall Browne, President at Newbridge RFC, said: “We were delighted to have been named winner of the Ulster Bank RugbyForce support package. Over the past number of years, raising funds to maintain the club’s facilities has proved quite difficult.
“With the Ulster Bank RugbyForce support package, along with the assistance of kind volunteers and members, we have begun essential club renovations – turning it into a club the community can be proud of.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ulster Bank and all the volunteers for their generous and much needed support.”
Ulster Bank RugbyForce was introduced to Ireland last year after Ulster Bank joined forces with the IRFU to become their ‘Official Community Rugby Partner’ and title sponsors of the Ulster Bank League.
The initiative, which attracted 105 club entries from across the country, 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.
The four winning clubs have been awarded with €;5,000 of goods and resources to use during their Ulster Bank RugbyForce weekend.
The first 50 clubs who registered for the initiative also received smaller packs, worth €;250. Those based in Leinster include Clane RFC, Greystones RFC and Monkstown RFC.
Speaking at Newbridge RFC’s Ulster Bank RugbyForce weekend, Gerry Reynolds, Head of Business Development at Ulster Bank’s West Dublin and Kildare Business Centre, said: “Ulster Bank RugbyForce has proved to be a great success once again this year.
“The initiative aims to support the grassroots of Irish rugby and evidently, that support is embedded in this community with volunteers of all ages lining out to support the club this weekend.
“With the help of everyone here today, the club’s changing rooms and car park have seen a complete transformation. It is important that rugby fans in the area know they don’t have to travel great distances to see a great rugby match.
“That message, along with some great work, has been delivered this weekend and hopefully Newbridge Rugby Club has gained some new supporters and potential players.”
Ulster Bank RugbyForce is part of Ulster Bank’s parent company, RBS Group’s 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.
IRFU President John Hussey said: “The Ulster Bank RugbyForce initiative has received a very positive response and is extremely beneficial to rugby clubs across the island of Ireland.
“The initiative provides a fantastic opportunity to unite club members and volunteers to improve their club and community rugby facilities. This is in keeping with the IRFU policy which is to maintain a healthy and vibrant club scene.
“I would like to thank Ulster Bank, as the Official Community Rugby Partner with the IRFU, for another valuable initiative for our clubs.”