Dublin Lord Mayor puts backing behind JAG U-18s as fundraising drive for youth projects steps up

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, joined the Ireland Under-18 boys hockey squad on their #RoadtoEindhoven fundraising campaign by hosting the boys at Mansion House on Sunday, March 31.

The Irish U-18 boys at the Lord Mayor’s reception

The Lord Mayor is putting his support behind this campaign to help this group of talented young hockey players in their efforts to raise over €60,000 to get them to the Six Nations Tournament in Eindhoven, Holland from July 14- 20, 2019.

Currently, none of the junior age groups for boys and girls in Ireland receive central funding from Hockey Ireland for their programmes and so the different teams have embarked on a series of activities to support their development this year.

The Lord Mayor recognised that the boys need support to compete against the best nations in Europe. The boys have set up their own Pledgesports page, and are seeking sponsors to help fund items like training and playing kits (home and away), tournament entry fees, protective gear, video analysis and fitness tracking equipment.

Niall Denham, Ireland Under-18 boys head coach said: “Our parents are incredibly supportive of the team and the programme but to play in Eindhoven is estimated to cost over €60K, so seeking assistance from this fundraising campaign would ease the financial burden for our families.

“Our parents have set up a Pledge Sports appeal and I would encourage anyone who can support this great group of talented players to make a pledge, all support goes directly to our boys’ programme costs. https://www.pledgesports.org/projects/six-nations-hockey-road-to-eindhoven/

Player Mark Duggan added: “Our squad is a really close group of guys with most of us having played together since we were 14 so to get to Eindhoven together would be fantastic. Representing Ireland is the highest achievement we as players can reach; it means a lot to us.”

Likewise, the Irish Under-16 boys have targeted the same €60,000 self-funding target for their summer series en route to their event in Eindhoven in July.

In February, the majority of the squad travelled to Lilleshall to play in a two match test series against their English counterparts. A trip to Bandon is on the cards for four days over Easter with another camp or test series in the pipeline for early May.

Following the May camp and right through to the end of June, weekly regional training sessions will take place in the three provinces in order to maintain contact with the players during exam time.

In that time, the squad will come together just once in late June just before a three-match test series against Scotland in Ulster. This is followed by a three-day camp in early July before departure to Holland on July 12 for the pinnacle event of the program, the Six Nations.

With the target of €60,000 in mind, the squad are seeking to raise funds through corporate sponsorship and donations in addition to their fundraising program that includes bag-packing, a GoFundMe page, Cowpat Bingo, selling hockey socks and lots more.

With two corporate donations totalling €7,500 already secured the fundraising efforts are already well up and running, but there is still a long way to go.

If you are in a position to support the Irish Under 16 Boys in their journey to break boundaries at the Six Nations in Eindhoven this July, there are a number of ways to support.

– Corporate sponsorship to include logo on jersey, shorts or other kit
– Corporate donations
– Personal donations through their GoFundMe page via: https://www.gofundme.com/irish-u16-boys-hockey-six-nations-pinnacle
– Win a cash prize by taking part in their Hockey Club Quiz for just €5, email hockeyquiz19@gmail.com to enter
– Participate in the 5km Family Fun Run in Dublin on Saturday, April 27
– Enter a team in the Ladies 6 a-side Indoor Hockey tournament in May in Dublin, date to be announced shortly, register early interest as an individual or team of up to 10 players by emailing ruthymc@gmail.com.

To keep up to date on our progress and follow our latest adventures, follow us now on Twitter www.twitter.com/IreBoysJAG or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ireboysjag

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