Four Irish Rugby Clubs Receive Funding Boost Ulster Bank RugbyForce 2012 Winners Announced: DONAGHADEE RECEIVE THE ULSTER AWARD

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Ulster Bank RugbyForce, a community initiative which provides rugby clubs with support to renovate their club and upgrade their facilities, has today selected four rugby clubs (one from each province) as winners of the ultimate rugby club support package worth €5,000 each.

A total of 105 rugby clubs from across the country entered for their chance to win the support package, a significant increase on last year’s inaugural programme. The four lucky winners announced today were Newbridge RFC, Kildare, Ballyhaunis RFC, Mayo, Killarney RFC, Kerry, and Donaghdee RFC, Down. As part of the support package, the winning clubs aim to develop their underage structure, introduce outdoor exercise stations, refurbish changing rooms, and improve showering facilities.

Ulster Bank RugbyForce was introduced to Ireland last year after Ulster Bank joined forces with the IRFU to become their ‘Official Community Rugby Partner’ and title sponsor of the Ulster Bank League. The initiative encourages rugby supporters, their friends and families to give something back to their local community and rugby club by volunteering to undertake renovations to clubhouses and grounds. The four winning clubs have been awarded with €5,000 of goods and resources to use during their planned Ulster Bank RugbyForce weekend. The first 50 clubs who registered for the initiative will also receive smaller packs, worth €250.

Speaking at the announcement of the Ulster Bank RugbyForce winners; Ireland and Munster rugby legend, Alan Quinlan, said: “Ulster Bank RugbyForce is a great initiative which aims to support the grassroots of Irish rugby. Rugby clubs across the country need the backing of their fans and their community. New generations are being brought up on provincial rugby but, it is so important to remember that you don’t need to travel to Limerick, Dublin, Galway or Belfast to see a great game. Every weekend, exceptionally talented athletes line-out for their clubs and showcase a great standard of rugby. I was delighted to see such large crowds supporting the Ulster Bank League deciders and that’s the way every game should be. It is time for communities across the country to get behind their local rugby club, not just for Ulster Bank RugbyForce, but to show their ongoing support.”

Ulster Bank RugbyForce is part of RBS Group’s, Ulster Bank’s parent company, wider RugbyForce programme that is delivered with their retail divisions partners across the UK. In partnership with the respective rugby unions and underpinned by their sponsorship of the RBS 6 Nations, the initiative helps clubs at the grassroots of the game to improve their facilities.

Ellvena Graham, Chief Operating Officer, Ulster Bank, said: “Ulster Bank RugbyForce has proven to be a fantastic and successful initiative for the second year running. It was extremely important to us in Ulster Bank to give something back to the community as part of our partnership with the IRFU. We are delighted to present Newbridge, Ballyhaunis, Killarney and Donaghdee Rugby Clubs with the Ulster Bank RugbyForce enhanced support packages. These clubs have been at the heart of their communities since they were established. With the aid of the Ulster Bank RugbyForce support packages, they will now have the opportunity to upgrade their facilities. I would like to wish each of the clubs every success for the future.”

Mr John Hussey, President, Irish Rugby Football Union said: “The Ulster Bank RugbyForce initiative has received a very positive response and is extremely beneficial to rugby clubs across the island of Ireland. The initiative provides a fantastic opportunity to unite club members and volunteers to improve their club and community rugby facilities. This is in keeping with the IRFU policy which is to maintain a healthy and vibrant club scene. I would like to thank Ulster Bank as the Official Community Rugby Partner with the IRFU, for another valuable initiative for our clubs.”

The following rugby clubs will receive support packages to the value of €250:

Ardee RFC, Armagh, Athy RFC, Aughrim RFC, Ballina RFC, Banbridge RFC, Belfast Harlequins RFC, Castleisland RFC, Carrigaline RFC, Charleville RFC, Clane RFC, Clonakilty RFC, Clontarf RFC, Corca Dhuibhne RFC, Cork Constitution FC, Crosshaven RFC, Dolphin RFC, Douglas RFC, Dunmanway RFC, Ennis RFC, Erris RFC, Galway Corinthians RFC, Greystones RFC, Highfield RFC, Kenmare RFC, Killorglin RFC, Larne, Letterkenney, Lisburn, Londonderry YMCA, Midleton RFC, Monkstown RFC, Nenagh Ormond RFC, Old Wesley RFC, Oughterard RFC, Portadown, Portarlington RFC, Randalstown, Rathdrum RFC, Richmond RFC, Seapoint RFC, Skerries RFC, Skibereen RFC, Sundays Well RFC, Suttonians RFC, Tir Chonaill, University College Cork RFC, Youghal RFC, Athboy RFC, Lurgan

The winning clubs will receive:

· Goods and resources up to the value of €5,000 to go towards the club’s RugbyForce weekend

· Commemorative Ulster Bank RugbyForce Plaque

· Terms and conditions apply and can be found at

The support pack for the first 50 clubs includes:

· Goods and resources up to the value of €250 to go towards the club’s RugbyForce weekend

· Commemorative Ulster Bank RugbyForce Plaque

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