New backer for County Board
Athletics Wexford has announced its partnership with Co. Wexford's leading home heating oil company, Mr Oil, which includes sponsorship of the full competitive championship programme from road races to cross-country and track and field events as well as the athlete of the month Awards.
Speaking at the launch at Enniscorthy Sports Hub on Friday, Paddy Morgan, Chairman of Athletics Wexford, said: 'The support of Mr Oil is very welcome and allows us to deliver an athletics programme that will help continue to develop great athletes, as well as increase the level of participation in the sport which will improve the health and well-being of all children and adults who take part'.
He also commented that with a 22% increase in membership here in Wexford, in both 2013 and again in 2014, it is crucial that the sport is adequately resourced to get the most out of this growth.
Figures released from Athletics Ireland last week revealed that Wexford continues to be one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, recording a 25% growth rate for January and February.
'Mr Oil's partnership comes at a time when the County Board is developing new and innovative responses to the growth in popularity of athletics, ensuring all of our membership receive the supports needed here in Co. Wexford to reach their full potential, be they coaches, masters, juveniles or elite performers,' he added.
The sponsorship will provide up to 2,000 athletes from the 17 clubs in Co. Wexford with the opportunity to compete at county championships throughout the year, the first of which will be the Mr Oil Novice road race in Ferns on Sunday next, March 22.
Ciarán Mooney, Managing Director of Mr. Oil, remarked that they were delighted to be sponsors of Wexford athletics. 'Athletics clubs unite communities throughout the county through a common interest in the sport, and I have seen first-hand the positive impact and long-lasting legacy on the athletes. I also know that a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes, he added.
'As strong supporters of the sport in Wexford, Mr Oil is proud to be partnering with Athletics Wexford in helping grassroots athletics, recreational running and supporting our county's leading athletes.'
Fiona Kehoe, one of Wexford's leading lights at Senior level, was also present at the launch and was presented with the Mr Oil athlete of the month for February on foot of her achievements at the national Senior indoor championship. She secured a bronze medal in the ladies' 800m, competing against Ciara Everard, who went on to gain a place in the semi-finals in the European indoor championships in Prague on March 7. Fiona's attentions are now focused on the outdoor championships where she hopes to repeat her indoor form.
The President of Athletics Wexford, Toddy Moore, was also present to celebrate the sponsorship deal and spoke of his delight to be on the 400m tartan track at Enniscorthy Sports Hub; the realization of the dreams of many County Board officials over the years.
Toddy added that he was thrilled to see a local, family-run company from Wexford involved with the sport and he was sure that the partnership would serve both parties well.