Sport across Northern Ireland was given a welcome boost recently with the announcement that Electric Ireland is the new lead sponsor of women’s football.
The Irish FA Senior Team Managers, Michael O’Neill and Alfie Wylie, Senior Women’s captain Marissa Callaghan, Under 19’s captain, Emma McMaster and the original Game Changer, Maeve Kyle, Ireland’s oldest living female Olympian joined Electric Ireland to reveal details of the new sponsorship.
The partnership aims to boost female football participation rates across Northern Ireland with Electric Ireland the Official Sponsor of the UEFA Women’s Under 19 Championship 2017, which takes place in August, and Girls’ Post Primary Schools Football and Schools Cup. The partnership deal also sees Electric Ireland become the Official Energy Partner to The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park and the Official Energy Partner of Northern Ireland Football.
To support the sponsorship, Electric Ireland announced details of its campaign Game Changers, which will break down the perceptions that exist around women’s football, celebrate female football talent and most importantly help boost participation rates beyond the current 10,000 Game Changers who currently play football each week across Northern Ireland.
Paul Stapleton, General Manager of Electric Ireland said: “We are delighted to announce our exciting partnership with The Irish Football Association to be the lead sponsor of women’s grassroots football across Northern Ireland supporting everything from summer camps to the elite and everything in between. We believe this partnership provides a Game Changing moment for women’s football. The announcement demonstrates our passionate commitment to the community and it is our ambition to inspire the next generation of female footballers during August’s UEFA Women’s Under 19 Championships and support the ambitious outreach to get more women playing football.”
“As a relatively new player in the energy market, Electric Ireland brings its experience of changing the game of the energy market in Northern Ireland and look forward to working in partnership with the Irish FA to bring Game Changers to life and bringing about positive change to women’s football.”
Northern Ireland Senior Women’s captain Marissa Callaghan said: “This is a fantastic boost for women’s football in Northern Ireland. The women’s game is growing in popularity here and this support from Electric Ireland will undoubtedly help it to develop even further. It is an exciting partnership that will drive women’s football forward at every level in Northern Ireland.”
Guests who attended the launch also heard from Ireland’s oldest living female Olympian Maeve Kyle who spoke passionately in support of the Game Changers campaign.
The Ballymena resident said: “As one of sports original Game Changers it is an honour for me to attend today’s Electric Ireland and Irish FA partnership launch. Today is about encouraging women from across Northern Ireland to give football a go and I will be cheering them on with all the passion of an Olympic athlete.”
Follow the stories at #GameChangers.
Emma McMaster (Women's U19 Captain), Clare McAllister (Sales and Marketing Manager - Electric Ireland), Michael O'Neill and Marissa Callaghan (Women's Senior Captain)
Chamber President, Anthony Newman with Michael O'Neill attending the Electric Ireland and Irish FA partnership launch.