Galway-based sports technology services company Clubforce has signed a new three- year sponsorship with Connacht Rugby, funding the development of a player pathway initiative aimed at getting young girls involved in rugby from a young age and improving retention rates as they progress to adulthood.
The Clubforce Emerging Talent Programme will see Connacht Rugby work with schools and clubs in the province to foster participation among female participants and to grow the women’s game in the West.
As a result of this new partnership, Clubforce will work with Connacht Rugby to promote female participation at grassroots level through the 26 rugby clubs and contribute to player coaching from minis through to senior women’s teams.
Clubforce will also provide clubs with the systems to maximise participation, and train them to report on member retention and pre-empt common drop-off rates.
This co-operation between Connacht Rugby and Clubforce will ultimately aim to bring the growing female rugby participation at all levels closer to their male counterparts.
At the launch, Connacht & Ireland out-half Nicole Fowley said the Clubforce Emerging Talent Programme is a welcome development providing new opportunities for girls interested in rugby west of the Shannon.
“The growth of women’s rugby in the last number of years in Ireland is testament to initiatives like this. As a young girl rugby was never really an option but nowadays thanks to partnerships like these, girls are getting a chance to start rugby much younger and have a clear pathway to follow which can lead them all the way to the top. It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing the future stars growing from grassroots to green shirts.”
“Women’s Rugby is a key cornerstone of what we in Connacht Rugby are all about, and it is absolutely vital for us that we continue to build on our growing female participation numbers for many years to come,” added Joe Gorham, head of domestic rugby in Connacht.
“This three-year partnership with Clubforce will provide us with the tools to do exactly that. We are delighted to have them on board and it’s particularly pleasing to see another West of Ireland brand succeeding in the sports industry.”
This strategic partnership with Connacht Rugby reinforces Clubforce’s commitment to assisting grassroots sports in Ireland and strengthens the company’s reputation as international expansion comes into focus.
“We are delighted to secure this new partnership with Connacht Rugby which will help the development of the women’s game in the province while building awareness of our brand internationally,” added Clubforce Chief marketing officer Paul Madden.
“At Clubforce we are committed to making the life of sports club volunteers easier and this deal will give them more tools to identify and address the current gaps that exists in female participation in rugby across the province. We believe the association with Connacht Rugby will benefit us greatly as we look to expand in the UK in the coming years.”
Image credit: Bryan Keane, Inpho.ie