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Ulster Rugby team gets ‘on board’ with local community

Ulster Rugby
Pictured with Denise Cranston are: Alan Taylor, Arthur Cox Solicitors, Darren Cave, Andrew Trimble, Declan Fitzpatrick, Roger Wilson and Callum Black and Pamela Gilpin, Irish Rugby Union Players Association

Players from the Ulster Rugby team are making a commitment to their local communities to help support them by using the skills they’ve learned through sport.

In a partnership organised by the Irish Rugby Union Players’ Association (IRUPA) and Business in the Community’s Business on Board initiative, the players hope to transfer skills such as strategic planning and team work to the boardroom by becoming board members of local community and voluntary sector organisations.

Denise Cranston, Business on Board Programme Manager says: “Business on Board is supported by the Department for Social Development, Arthur Cox Solicitors and Invest NI. It has been designed to encourage business people from all sectors across Northern Ireland to offer their skills and expertise to a voluntary, community or social enterprise organisation. It’s easy to get matched up through our online service at www.businessonboardni.org.

“So far this year, over 50 people have been matched and we’re hoping for the same again in the second half of this year. It’s great to see our sporting stars using this opportunity as a way to look beyond their careers on the pitch to use the skills they’ve learnt in a new way.”

Arthur Cox Managing Partner, Alan Taylor, commented: “The corporate and sporting worlds have a significant overlap in Northern Ireland, and we have seen many dedicated and talented sports people go on to play a major role in business life here. Arthur Cox has strong links with the Business on Board Programme and we are excited about making a positive impact on the future careers of these tenacious players.”

Omar Hassanein, CEO of IRUPA adds: “We are excited to partner with Business in the Community on the Business on Board initiative. Our members will benefit greatly from the board training they will receive and I know they will bring the many transferable skills they have honed in their careers as professional rugby players. This kind of training and hands on experience is invaluable in ensuring our members are actively engaged and contributing to their community and local business in a meaningful and relevant way. I would like to thank the Business in the Community, Arthur Cox and the Department for Social Development in extending this programme to our Ulster members.”

Explaining why he is getting on board, Irish Rugby player, Andrew Trimble adds: “Rugby is my passion and it will always be an important part of my life. The day will come when I’ll not be playing to the same extent I do now but I want to keep on using my sports skills. Business on Board provides a great outlet for me and the guys. The board-level training provided by Arthur Cox has helped us identify our skills and how we can use these as a board member. Working with community or voluntary groups is perfect as we can make a difference to the causes close to our hearts.”

Denise Cranston, Business on Board Programme Manager adds: “Many of our business leaders tell us that money could not buy the type of expertise and skills development a board opportunity provides. People get a great deal of satisfaction as they are involved with groups which really interest them, they can make an obvious difference in their local community and develop their skills quickly.”

Do you, or someone in your organisation have a passion for the local community? Could you provide a valuable lifeline through offering your skills and expertise by joining the board of a local community or voluntary group?

If so, please e-mail [email protected] more information or call (028) 9046 0606.

For more information on Business in the Community, visit www.bitcni.org.uk