Donna Ahern talks to former Irish international rugby player, broadcaster and author, Donncha O’Callaghan
Can you tell me about your role as brand ambassador for Texaco Support for Sport?
This is a new initiative that provides clubs with the opportunity to showcase their importance to their local communities while building on the long relationship that has existed between the Texaco brand and generations of Irish sports fans.
It offers a new and innovative route to funding for sports clubs up and down the country and is a project that I am delighted to support, especially as I’m aware that many clubs may be experiencing financial strain due to the current restrictions, most notably small clubs and those from niche sports.
Sports clubs are a unifying element and a focal point for good in our communities.
They are the magnets to which so many of us are drawn, homes-from-home where we meet and enjoy the camaraderie that sport offers and that all members and supporters share. Now more than ever, sports clubs across the country and their volunteers need our support.
My role, as brand ambassador for Texaco Support for Sport, will be to decide where the €130,000 fund on offer can be best spent and offer the highest sporting return to the 26 individual clubs across the country, each being based in a separate county.
I’m very excited to take part as I truly believe that a fund of this size can make a real difference to the betterment and running of any sports club in this country.
A fund of €130,000 has been set aside for distribution to sports clubs on a twenty-six, county-by-county basis. How will this be distributed?
With the entire country to cover, and entries arriving from all parts, the overall fund will be divided into twenty-six equal amounts of €5,000 to be distributed to the winning club in each county.
What advice would you give to those who are interested in entering?
With the closing date for entries fixed for 31 December, my first piece of advice is to get your entry in as soon as possible.
Beyond that, it is up to each club to put their best foot forward, to explain how the funding would be used and how it could benefit club members and supporters, while ensuring that the club’s values and unique characteristics are upheld at all times.
As a dad to four kids, how have you been keeping them active during the lockdown?
We have enjoyed lots of family walks and cycles and I like to make sure they get an hour of vigorous exercise each day.
During your rugby career with Ireland, who was the strongest opponent that you faced?
New Zealand were always the best but teams like Italy, Georgia and South Africa were really physical games and you always woke up sore the next morning after playing them.
How did playing for Worcester Warriors compare to playing for Munster?
I really enjoyed playing with Worcester and I learned a lot in terms of leadership. Worcester have players from all over the UK and all around the world, whereas Munster is community based, so when I was with Munster I would have played with players I had played with since underage.
What has been the highlight of your sporting career to date?
My first cap for Ireland in 2003.
What has been the standout moment in your broadcasting career?
Presenting on 2FM – it is an incredible opportunity that I am grateful for and I am continuously learning.
Who would come to your ideal dinner party (living or dead)?
Alastair Campbell, Pat Geraghty (Munster PR officer during my time with Munster) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine from Seinfeld) as I think she is hilarious.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
The work you do for the man beside you makes you a better man (Paul Darbyshire, an old coach of mine).
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Play hide and seek with my kids. At the moment, they are giving me lessons on making queen cakes!
Can you tell me something about yourself that we don’t already know?
I can’t handle cotton wool – the thought of it makes me squirm!
How To Enter:
Texaco Support for Sport is open for entries until end-December, winners will be announced early next year. Details can be viewed here.
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.