We are delighted to announce that DEBRA Ireland have been chosen as charity partner to Leinster Rugby along with Aware. For the first time ever, the charity partnership will run for two seasons up until the end of the 2017/18 season.
To celebrate the partnership it was also announced that Joe Walsh Tours, official travel partner of Leinster Rugby, would be offering both charities 14 seats on the first Guinness PRO12 away trip of the year to Glasgow, giving the lucky 28 passengers a unique insight into the Leinster Rugby environment as they travel to and from the game with the team.
Judith Gilsenan, Head of Fundraising said: “DEBRA Ireland is delighted to be selected as one of Leinster Rugby’s official charity partners and are really looking forward to working with both the Leinster Team and Clubs over the next two seasons.
“We have no doubt that this partnership will do so much for our families living with the devastating skin disease EB (epidermolysis bullosa). The awareness that this partnership will generate will ensure that those living with EB will be given a powerful voice because of the Blue Army!
At the announcement, special guests from Aware and DEBRA Ireland met Leinster Rugby players and coaches and they also got a unique behind the scenes tour of the Leinster Rugby facilities.
Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen welcomed both charities to Leinster Rugby and looked forward to the partnership ahead:
“I would like to congratulate both Aware and DEBRA Ireland on their selection and wish them well over the coming two seasons. I think it’s great that they get to kick off the relationship with us as we travel over to Glasgow in a few weeks in the Guinness PRO12 and I would like to thank Joe Walsh Tours for the kind offer.
“This is very much a collaborative process with our playing group having input in to the selection process so we feel very much part of the partnership and I hope that it can help both Aware and DEBRA achieve greater awareness for those in Ireland suffering with mental health issues and of course with EB.”
In addition to having Aware and DEBRA Ireland on board for the season ahead, Leinster Rugby outlined further plans to engage with other charities.
Leinster Rugby media manager and chair of the CSR Committee, Marcus Ó Buachalla, said: “We were again overwhelmed with the amount of applications with over 70 charities putting their names forward. As a result we have again decided to continue with our online application system whereby charities that are not official partners of Leinster Rugby can still apply for once off contributions.
“With that framework in place we would hope to reach out to other charities on a monthly basis. Last season we reached out to 42 charities outside of our two partners, Cardiac Risk in the Young and The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, and we look forward to doing the same this season.”
Further information on the charity partners, in addition to how your charity can apply for support from Leinster Rugby can be found at leinsterrugby.ie/charitypartners.