Leinster Rugby has confirmed that MS Ireland and the Down Syndrome Centre have been selected as the club’s exclusive charity partners for the next two seasons.
After a public tender process involving 57 submissions, eight charities presented to Leinster Rugby and in the end, the players chose to work with MS Ireland and Down Syndrome Centre for the next two seasons.
To kick off the partnership Leinster Rugby also announced that in association with their travel partner JWT, each charity would receive 10 travel and accommodation packages each to an away Guinness PRO14 game for them to use to their benefit.
The packages include travelling to and from the game with the team, accommodation and tickets to the game itself.
MS Ireland’s mission is to enable and empower people affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to live the life of their choice to their fullest potential. There are over 9,000 people living with MS in Ireland with 3,122 of those based in Leinster.
The Down Syndrome Centre is a family focused centre that provides essential services for children with Down syndrome and their families. They support over 200 children a week in their centre in Dublin.
“We are looking forward to a very fruitful relationship over the coming two years, working with the extended Leinster family on exciting campaigns and awareness programmes,” said Ava Battles, CEO of MS Ireland.
“If the partnership is half as successful as the team have been on the pitch, it will have a huge impact on our vital services which help over 9,000 people living with Multiple Sclerosis throughout Ireland.”
“For a small, yet thriving charity, to be associated with a club that has achieved so many prestigious accolades over the last season, will be a significant support in raising the profile of the charity,” added CEO of the Down Syndrome Centre, Sharon Dagg.
“As a family focussed centre with a positive ethos we feel there is a strong synergy between the two organisations and we look forward to working together in a mutually beneficial partnership over the coming seasons.”
This is the second time that Leinster Rugby have entered into a charity partnership for two seasons coming off the back of the last tender process in 2016.
“We learned a lot from the last two seasons with DEBRA Ireland and Aware and we are extremely grateful to them for being brilliant partners over the last two years,” explained Leinster Rugby Communications Manager Marcus Ó Buachalla.
“The process to select two new charity partners was as competitive a process as we have ever had and we are extremely grateful to all 57 charities that submitted an application. Narrowing it down to 12 initially and then to eight charities that came in to present to us in UCD and then to our final two was not easy but we are delighted to be partnering with MS Ireland and the Down Syndrome Centre for the next two seasons.
“It was great to have them here at training this morning as guests of the team and for them to meet Leo and the players.”
The partnership process between charities and sporting organisations will feature as one of the elements in the first Sport for Business Sport for Social Good Report and Conference taking place in Dublin on Thursday September 27th.
Image Credit: Ramsey Cardy, Sportsfile