Clubforce, the Irish tech business making sport happen, has expanded its reach in the UK market through a new partnership announced this morning with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation.

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation is a youth and community development charity. Sport for Business member Clubforce will be teaming up with the charity which works in the heart of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation was set up in 2012 by Ferdinand following issues of inequality he experienced in his own life.

Since its inception, the Foundation is now working in communities across Ireland and the UK, with regional hubs in Belfast, Manchester, and London. The Foundation supports more than 10,000 youths, helping them to realise their potential.

The Foundation empowers young people to tackle the inequalities they face. They do this by creating opportunities so they can achieve their personal potential and also so they can drive social change on a greater scale.

The charity provides support under four strategic themes: safe spaces; health and wellbeing; strong, safe, and inclusive communities; and progression, skills, and employability.

Clubforce encourages health and well-being through sport as well as inclusivity, diversity, and participation for all. Clubforce sees the value in sport as the big leveller where prejudices have always had to take a backseat. Sport can be used as a tool for good in that it brings people joy, impacting their mental and physical wellness positively, and connecting them with a community where they are supported through friendship.

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation sees the potential in sport as a universal platform for inclusivity. The partnership will enable Clubforce and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to tackle inequality issues faced by young people and encourage everyone on and off the field to participate. In addition to positioning both organisations to achieve their mission, the partnership enables Clubforce to follow through on its plans to expand into the UK.

“We are delighted to collaborate with a community-focused software company developing technology to promote sports participation and make sport accessible to all,” said Ferdinand. “We are on the same journey.”

“As we grow in the UK we are delighted to partner with Rio Ferdinand, Gary Stannett and his team, and support the excellent work they are doing on the ground.,” added Clubforce CEO Noel Murray.

“We are full of admiration for the work done by the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, especially for girls,” said Rachel Kavanagh, CMO of the Galway based company.

“I’m especially excited to hear about programs such as GoGirl, building the confidence of young women and girls to achieve their potential. We’re looking forward to contributing to the efforts made by the Foundation to drive inclusion and sports participation across genders in both geographies.”