Sligo County Council is thrilled to announce the launch of the Co. Sligo Rugby Development Programme, which took place on Monday, 29th January 2024 at County Hall.
Launch of Co. Sligo Rugby Development Programme
This groundbreaking initiative aims to enhance the growth and development of rugby in the region and provide opportunities for aspiring young athletes to reach their full potential.
The Co. Sligo Rugby Development Programme is a collaborative effort between Sligo County Council and Connacht Rugby. With a shared vision to promote rugby at the grassroots level, this programme will provide comprehensive coaching, training, and support to young players in the region. By fostering a strong rugby culture and nurturing talent, the initiative aims to create a pathway for players to progress to higher levels of the sport.
In attendance at the launch event were Joe Gorham, Head of Rugby Development with Connacht Rugby, Rory Raftery, President of Sligo RFC, Tom Nielson, Chairperson of Sligo RFC, Lyndon Jones, Rugby Participation Manager with Connacht Rugby, Councillor Michael Clarke, Councillor Thomas Walsh, Chief Executive Martin Lydon, Director of Services Dorothy Clarke and Emer Concannon, Deirdre Lavin, Sligo Sports and Recreation and Ross Mannion, newly appointed Co. Sligo Rugby Development Officer.
Front Row: Joe Gorham, Head of Rugby Development with Connacht Rugby, Chief Executive Martin Lydon, Cathaoirleach Councillor Gerard Mullaney, Ross Mannion, Co Sligo Rugby Development Officer and Tom Nielson, Chairperson of Sligo RFC
Speaking at the launch, Cathaoirleach Councillor Gerard Mullaney said
This is an exciting day for our vibrant rugby community as we embark on a new chapter in the development and growth of the sport in our beloved county.
Today, we have the privilege of introducing our new Rugby Development Officer - Ross Mannion.
Inhis role as Rugby Development Officer, Ross will play a pivotal role in nurturing and advancing the sport within our county. This position holds tremendous responsibility as it serves as a catalyst for developing talent, fostering teamwork, and instilling the core values of rugby in the hearts of our young athletes.
Ross will be instrumental in promoting the sport at all levels, from grassroots to elite, ensuring that every individual who aspires to play rugby in Sligo has the opportunity to do so. He will work tirelessly to build partnerships within our community, schools, and clubs, forging strong bonds that will contribute to the overall growth and success of rugby in our region.
Rugby is not just a game; it is a way of life. It teaches us invaluable lessons about teamwork, discipline, and resilience. It brings people together, transcending barriers of age, gender, and background. As Cathaoirleach, I firmly believe that investing in the development of rugby will yield tremendous benefits for our community, not only in terms of physical fitness and skill acquisition but also in fostering a sense of camaraderie and belonging.
With the appointment of our new Rugby Development Officer, we are taking a significant step forward in our commitment to nurturing the sport that has captured the hearts of so many in Sligo. I am confident that Ross's expertise, passion, and dedication will inspire our young athletes, instilling in them the love for the game and the drive to excel both on and off the field.
I would also like to take a moment to recognise and appreciate the efforts of our existing rugby community, including coaches, volunteers, parents, and players, who have laid the groundwork for the growth and success we have achieved thus far. Your tireless work and commitment have made rugby a thriving sport in our county, and we are grateful for your contributions.
To our new Rugby Development Officer, I offer my heartfelt congratulations on your appointment. Your role is not merely a job but a calling to shape young lives, to foster a love for the game, and to chart a course for rugby excellence in Sligo. I am confident that with your leadership, our rugby community will flourish, and the impact of the sport will be felt far and wide.
In conclusion, I extend my warmest welcome to our new Rugby Development Officer – Ross Mannion. May you find fulfilment and joy in this challenging yet rewarding role. And to all those present here today, I invite you to join us in supporting and encouraging the growth of rugby in Sligo, ensuring that our young athletes have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.
Also speaking at the launch, were Joe Gorham, Head of Rugby Development with Connacht Rugby and Chief Executive of Sligo County Council Martin Lydon.