Irish Life Health has renewed its position as official partner to Athletics Ireland in a three-year deal that will see a substantial six-figure investment and greater activation across a number of different projects and programmes.
The partnership has been in place since Irish Life Health took over GloHealth and so far the company has invested over €500,000 in the sport.
“We have been working closely with Athletics Ireland to align our objectives and today is a statement in advance of our raising the level of our engagement and helping athletics Ireland to create a healthier Ireland,” said Irish Life Health Head of Marketing Liz Rowen, speaking to Sport for Business yesterday.
The partnership is also an echo of Irish Life’s parent company involvement with the GAA Healthy Club initiative.
“We are all aligned. At a broader perspective Irish Life is about helping people to build a better future and on the health side we want to contribute to that through healthier lifestyles.”
“Our Irish Life Health BeneFit campaign provides ways in which customers can boost their health and lifestyle activities and again that is something which will be part of our visibility around the key athletics events and programmes.”
Yesterday’s launch highlighted research which indicates the numerous health benefits of running throughout life including living approximately three years longer than non-runners.
Athletics Ireland offers a range of programmes reaching 100,000 people daily aged 8 to 80. It also connects with the wider 300,000 strong running community through events and initiatives. Irish Life Health through its partnership with Athletics Ireland is committing to a sport that delivers on health, wellness and lifelong activity.
“We need to provide young children with the best possible start, so they can lead a healthy and active life,” said Dr. Tom Comyns, lecturer in Human Movement Science at the University of Limerick speaking at the launch.
“Numerous research studies have pointed to the fact that there is a strong positive relationship between fundamental movement skill competence and physical activity in children and adolescents. This is most likely due to the abilities and confidence that children gain from the early development of those skills.”
“Exercise is the ultimate health pill with numerous studies finding it leads to better heart health, reduced risk of cancer, lower risk of diabetes and better mental health,” added Gary Ryan, former Olympian and Project Manager UL Beo, a University of Limerick initiative in the areas of physical activity, health, lifestyle and sport.
“Running is especially beneficial with a recent review suggesting that runners have a 25%-40% reduced risk of premature mortality3. Through its simplicity, convenience, and accessibility, running is an activity that can be continued throughout life. It is an especially good form of exercise for those who are time poor to get the necessary levels of intensity of physical activity required.”
“Athletics Ireland looks forward to continuing to work with Irish Life Health which is a long-term partner of our sport,” said Hamish Adams, CEO of Athletics Ireland.
“The previous three-year deal expired last year and we sat down to really work through where we could both work closely together to make a next phase work.
“Athletics Ireland has a mission to support and develop the athletes of Ireland of all ages, disciplines, and abilities and to contribute positively to increasing physical activity levels across the entire population.”
“Last year saw some great levels of achievement form our young athletes as well as Thomas Barr’s medal at the European Championships.”
“The sport is in a strong position and the support provided by Irish Life Health will enable our association to deliver on our objectives from our competition programmes, summer camps, the Daily Mile and many other initiatives.”
Further details around some of the specific initiatives that Irish Life Health will be backing will be announced over the coming weeks and Sport for Business will make sure to bring you not only the news but also in depth analysis of why they work from a sporting as well as a business perspective for the partners.
Hamish Adams will feature in ‘Leading Sport’ a new series of interviews with the CEO’s and leaders of the sporting governing bodies that make up Ireland’s rich diversity of sports, kicking off next month.
Athletics Ireland will also be one of the sports invited to take part in our 2019 Partners event to take place in the spring and which brings together different sports with potential commercial supporters.