Five more years
The People Newspaper Group strengthened its commitment to Coiste na nOg Loch Garman at a County Board meeting in the Ferrycarrig Hotel recently when a new five-year sponsorship deal was announced.
The Wexford-based company, weekly publishers of the 'Wexford People', 'New Ross Standard', 'Gorey Guardian' and 'Enniscorthy Guardian', marked the end of three successful years backing G.A.A. at under-age level with the extension of their support all the way to 2020.
People Group representatives Alan Aherne (Group Sports Editor), Brendan Furlong (Sports Reporter), P.J. Banville (Advertising Sales Executive) and Ger Hore (Photographer) were welcomed to the meeting by Bobby Goff, Coiste na nOg Loch Garman Chairman, who expressed his delight with the success of the sponsorship to date.
He looked forward to the continuation of a very successful arrangement for both parties over the next five years.
Alan Aherne said that the company placed a special emphasis on family- and community-orientated projects for its sponsorship portfolio.
And Coiste na nOg Loch Garman ticked all the relevant boxes in both regards given its practical support to the development of young people, and its reach into every parish in the county which the newspaper group can readily identify with.
He noted that the first three years of sponsorship, from 2013 to 2015, had been very successful, with the number of competitions increasing thanks to the gradual addition of shields to supplement the championships at all levels from Under-14 up to and including Minor.
This development was supported by the sponsors as it led to an impressive spread of winners from all four Districts.
Indeed, no fewer than 30 of the county's 49 clubs claimed a Coiste na nOg title at some level in 2015.
And while it's not all about winning of course, the staging of 42 competitions in all enabled the sponsors to reach out to the clubs in a practical way by presenting the successful ones with framed team photographs.
Aherne thanked the Coiste na nOg officers for their support and co-operation, pointing out that the decision to extend the sponsorship agreement for another five years was proof positive of a healthy working relationship and mutual respect on both sides.
He praised two members of the 'People' team who weren't in attendance, namely Marketing Executive Donna Murphy for her hard work behind the scenes in arranging the presentations, and Sports Reporter Dean Goodison for his diligence covering Coiste na nOg games.
Ger Hore, representing the company's photographers, was thanked along with Ger Leacy and Paddy Delaney, because the presentations to clubs wouldn't have been possible without their expertise.
He also expressed his appreciation to Sports Reporter Brendan Furlong who has publicised the Coiste na nOg scene over many years, while he had a special welcome for the newest member of the 'People' team, county Senior footballer P.J. Banville who is working as an Advertising Sales Executive.
Aherne congratulated P.J. on playing his one hundredth Senior game for Wexford just two days earlier, a phenomenal achievement by any standards.
And it was appropriate that he should be present at a function of this nature, given that his own successful career started with the Coiste na nOg teams in Horeswood.
Some of the 42 People Newspaper Coiste na nOg competitions are already under way, with action having taken place in the Wexford People Minor grades.
And it won't be long before games commence in the Gorey Guardian Juvenile football, Enniscorthy Guardian Juvenile hurling, and New Ross Standard Under-14 hurling and football grades.
For unrivalled coverage of these competitions up to and including the finals, don't forget to purchase your copy of 'The People', 'The Standard' or 'The Guardian' every Tuesday morning.