Rugby clubs invited to apply for bursary

Rugby clubs invited to apply for bursary

The bursary is an extension of the Real Rugby Heroes initiative which has been running for five years.

By Damian Mullan

Reporter:

By Damian Mullan

Email:

sport@thechronicle.uk.com

SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) and Ulster Rugby are reminding clubs they have only one week left to apply to a bursary fund set up to support rugby clubs as they plan a return to activity post COVID-19.

The fund recognises the efforts of clubs throughout Ulster who have supported their community during the ongoing pandemic.

The bursary is an extension of the Real Rugby Heroes initiative which has been running for five years and seeks to reward volunteers who make an invaluable contribution to the domestic game in Ulster.

Clubs should apply for the bursary at www.ulsterrugby.com/realrugbyheroes before the deadline at 5pm on Thursday June 25.

A total fund of £8,000 is available,  tiered in three bursary levels of £1000, £500 and £250. The funds are intended to support clubs with the anticipated expenses of putting in place protocols for a post COVID-19 return to activity.

Jo Aston, Managing Director of SONI, said: "We have been proud to support Ulster Rugby for five years, and have remained close to them as they, like all organisations, navigate these extraordinary times.

"Rugby clubs across Ulster are a vital asset to the communities they operate in and we have been over-whelmed by the individual efforts clubs have made to support vulnerable people during COVID-19. We encourage all clubs who have supported their community to submit an application.”

 The Real Rugby Heroes of COVID-19 bursary, is an extension of the Real Rugby Heroes programme which was put on hold as the impact of coronavirus took its toll on the game. 

Examples of how rugby clubs and their members have helped those in need in their community in recent times range from delivering grocery boxes in their area, to donating facilities and fundraising for NHS charities. Some club grounds have also been used as testing centres for key workers. 

Barry Willis, Rugby Operations Manager at Ulster Rugby said: "We are incredibly proud of how the clubs have reacted, given the pressure they too are under. We would therefore encourage all clubs to apply for the Real Rugby Heroes of COVID-19 bursary programme to help them prepare for a return to activity.”

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday June 25 and clubs can apply by filling out the online application form at www.ulsterrugby.com/realrugbyheroes.

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