Rachael Blackmore has launched the 2021 Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund, which has distributed over €1 million to 100 organisations during its ten year history to date.

Fresh from becoming the first woman in history to win the Aintree Grand National Blackmore joined some former fund recipients at the Dublin City Farm and Ecology Centre in St Anne’s Park to encourage community leaders to apply for funding at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.

Now into its eleventh year, the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund will support young people disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Grants totalling €100,000 will be available to youth-orientated non-profit groups across the island of Ireland committed to protecting the future of a post-pandemic generation.

Visiting the community-run farm in Dublin, which last year received €5,000 in Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund grant for the development of a skills-based learning programme, Blackmore said “I’m very fortunate to compete in a sport where men and women are given equal opportunities and compete on a level playing field. My hometown and local community have played a big part in helping me the person I am today, and their support is very important to me.”

“Growing up on a farm helped to prepare me for the professional environment I find myself in today, so to see local initiatives like this one at Dublin City Farm made possible because of the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund is fantastic.”

“As a jockey, winning races is a combined effort shared with the entire team and the horse of course. For young people in communities right across Ireland right now, those wins are going to be decided by the people you surround yourself with and the projects you immerse yourself in. The grants available through the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund are empowering local champions to establish very real networks of support that will have a lasting impact.

“Last year we reimagined the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund in response to COVID-19, with our support focused on those most at risk from the immediate challenges of the crisis,” said Agnese Filippi, Country Manager for Coca‑Cola Ireland.

“The Fund was established to help marginalised young people and this year we’re looking to their future, working with our colleagues in Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling company to fund programmes and projects that are committed to building societal resilience across the island of Ireland.”

“2020, was a milestone year for the Fund as we marked its ten-year anniversary having donated over €1 million to more than 100 non-profit organisations over that time. While we are incredibly proud of this legacy, as a business – along with our partners in Coca‑Cola HBC, we are consciously working to expand our network of supports for young people.”

“The term frontline is one we’ve all become very familiar with over the past 12 months and a position those working with young people in Ireland have found themselves in as the sector continues to be disproportionally impacted by the insurmountable challenges of COVID-19,” added Lucy Masterson, Chief Executive of the Irish Youth Foundation who along with YouthAction Northern Ireland are supporting partners of the Fund.

Assessed under the categories of education and training, diversity, and inclusion in young people and those that take an innovative approach to demonstrating sustainability, applications for funding can be submitted via www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou until midnight 16th of July.

Leaders of the shortlisted projects will be invited to attend special skills and networking workshop empowering them with top tips on how to pitch their project and apply for funding, before presenting their ideas to a panel of judges in September.

This year will also see a return of the ‘People’s Choice Award,’ with members of the public invited to vote for their favourite project among the final shortlisted organisations, with successful 2021 Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund recipients to be announced in the autumn.

 

Coca Cola is one of more than 250+ members of the Sport for Business network of sporting and business organisations working together across a number of key areas.

 

Sport for Business Partners