Leinster flying high with AerCap boost

AerCap has signed a two-year sponsorship deal with Leinster Hockey to support their ambitious high performance player and coach development programme for the Junior Age teams

Aengus Kelly, CEO of AerCap, said of the agreement: “It is a particularly exciting time for Irish hockey with the recent success of the women’s hockey team at the World Cup and Olympic qualifiers, inspiring a new generation of junior age boys and girls.”

Leinster’s 2018 Under-18 side. Pic: Adrian Boehm

For the Leinster Hockey Association’s interprovincial programme director Ann Ronan, she says the new support comes at the perfect time.

“Leinster Hockey has seen a growth in numbers across the province with demand for places in clubs rising year on year. Growth has been particularly strong amongst girls – and Leinster Hockey are bucking the trend with increasingly high numbers participating into their teens and through exam years.

“One of the key initiatives has been to allow players at club level to compete with and against their ‘school year’ group rather than limiting players to their age group.

“The investment from AerCap will not just benefit the elite players, but will also support provincial plans to roll out player development programmes across the province in a number of regional centres – thus ensuring that a broader base of players will be included and that both Umpire and Coach development can be facilitated.

“Leinster teams have enjoyed success at the Inter-Provincial tournaments and in recent years have seen increasing numbers of junior age players selected onto the national age group panels.

Leinster’s Under-18 boys celebrating a goal in September. Pic: Adrian Boehm

“Ten Leinster players were on the Irish women’s team selected for the Olympic qualifying matches against Canada.

“These players are fantastic role models for our young players. They are helping to inspire more to play and to dream big. Leinster Hockey would like to wish the whole team the very best of luck and we look forward to following them all the way to Tokyo 2020.

“The young players who will emerge from development programmes, which the AerCap sponsorship will help to make possible, are already looking towards the Olympics in Paris 2024.”

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