Aldi has lined out with former Ireland and Munster captain Paul O’Connell and National Team Head Coach Joe Schmidt, to celebrate a record year for the Aldi Play Rugby programme.
The German-based discount retailer announced that over 100,000 kids across the country took part in the non-contact rugby initiative for both boys and girls.
It added that almost half of the children taking part, 44%, during 2017 / 2018 were primary school girls aged between 7-12, highlighting the growing popularity of the sport amongst girls.
A Great Introduction
“With our national and provincial teams performing so well and rugby more popular than ever, it’s brilliant to see more and more children around the country benefit from the training and support Aldi Play Rugby offers,” said Paul O’Connell, ambassador of Aldi’s Play Rugby campaign.
“It provides the bibs, cones, rugby balls, tags, and the coaching support to get them started. Over 100,000 kids took part in Aldi Play Rugby of which 44,000 of those were girls, which is a great introduction to non-contact rugby and growing participation in rugby amongst females.”
“We want kids to be active and healthy and that’s not just important on the rugby field, it’s also important in the classroom,” Joe Schmidt added.
“The Aldi Play Rugby programme has really helped to enable and empower kids to get more involved in rugby and hopefully pick up some healthy habits along the way.”
Participation in the programme has increased by almost 50% since Aldi partnered with the IRFU in 2016, with 1,200 schools signing up during 2017 / 2018 - a significant increase from 537 schools in 2016.
John Curtin, Aldi’s Group Buying Director, said that the first two years of Aldi Play Rugby have been a huge success for everyone involved.
“Making a positive impact on young people in the communities we serve and encouraging a healthy lifestyle amongst our customers are both of huge importance to Aldi. We offer the best value on fresh and healthy food in Ireland, making healthy eating affordable to everyone,” Curtin said.
“In true partnership, Aldi brought the sponsorship to life during the November Series and the 6 Nations. An exclusive IRFU clothing range was sold nationwide in Aldi stores, with 50 cents from each item sold going directly to the Aldi Play Rugby programme. The range was a great success with over €50,000 contributed to the Aldi Play Rugby programme which is active in over 1,200 primary schools nationwide.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.