Helping Rugby Clubs to Help Themselves

Sport for Business and Ulster Bank brought the curtain down last night on the national ‘Help for What Matters Roadshow that has been on the road for the past two weeks.

With stops in Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Cork and in the shadow of the Aviva Stadium at Lansdowne FC last night we delivered insight, information and perhaps a little inspiration to around one in five rugby clubs operating in Ireland.

The purpose was to go a little deeper with Ulster Bank’s sponsorship of the All Ireland League, to talk to and listen to clubs in areas of sponsorship, fundraising, financial management and grant application.

Dennis O’Connor and Amy Power from the 2Into3 Consultancy delivered sessions that were filling notebooks with advice and ideas on how clubs could take simple steps towards a better financial future.

The discussion around grant applications could provide the key to unlock millions for clubs that have a better idea of what they need to do to access the Government’s next rounds of Sports Capital grants.

Sandra O’Connor from Ulster Bank brought the relationships that matter between partners in finance to life with wit and humour.

We discovered and shared winning formulae from club volunteers who took time out at the end of one long season so they could be better prepared for the next one.

We spoke of the need to ask questions, to determine motivations, to be ready and at how to encourage volunteers with face to face human as opposed to database communication.

We discovered the Young Munster 500 Club, a neat solution to regular giving that drew in members to donate €5 a week for 100 weeks. Getting 100 members of your club to do that would generate €25,000 a year at a barely perceptible cost to the club in terms of money, time and energy.

We met with Club Presidents and Chief bottle washers, players, coaches, volunteers and those willing to give what they have in pursuit of making their club be as good as it can be.

Alan Quinlan joined us on the road and spoke with true feeling about his connection to Clanwilliam, to Shannon and to Munster. Of the moments in his career that stand out as fond memories and of the time that others gave to him as a young player making his way in the game.

Rugby is a massive success story in Ireland. From Grand Slams and the edge of further European glory, it is flying. It is built though on the bedrock foundation of great clubs and great people.

That’s what we have seen on the road, that’s what we have been privileged to play some small part in helping in areas that matter.

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