Robbie Henshaw Launches Associate Club Programme

Robbie Henshaw holding a sign of the associate club logo

Wednesday May 8th, 2024
Press Release

Robbie Henshaw Launches Vision Sports Ireland Associate Club Programme

Vision Sports Ireland are delighted to announce the launch of our Associate Club Programme. This initiative is designed to create a network of inclusive sports clubs around the country that are open to including individuals with vision impairments throughout the mainstream and adapted activities within their clubs.

Founded in 1988, Vision Sports Ireland is a registered charity and acts as the National Governing Body for Blind/Vision Impaired Sport in Ireland, collaborating with a wide number of national governing bodies, local sports partnerships and organisations to make sport more accessible to people who are blind or vision impaired.

Robbie Henshaw with Vision Sports Ireland CEO Aaron Mullaniff, staff member Sara McFadden and Old Wesley Club President Ronan Bools

Vision Sports Ireland, as a member and subsidiary of Vision Ireland – the new name for NCBI, aims to ensure that all blind and vision impaired people in Ireland have access to, and can enjoy the health benefits derived from regular participation in sport and physical activities of their choice.

Aaron Mullaniff, CEO, Vision Sports Ireland commented “We are thrilled to introduce the Associate Club Program as part of our ongoing efforts to create an inclusive sports sector across Ireland. Through collaboration with clubs and the provision of support and resources, our goal is to foster a sports environment that is not only accessible but is also welcoming to individuals experiencing visual impairment or blindness”.

Robbie Henshaw, Ireland International and Leinster Rugby Player noted “As a Vision Ireland Board Director, I am delighted to support in the launch of this fantastic initiative. I urge all clubs around the country take this step in creating a more inclusive sports sector for people who are blind/vision impaired.”

Robbie Henshaw holding a sign of the associate club logo with a mixture of male and female players form the old wesley vi rugby team

Old Wesley RFC Club President Ronan Bools added “Old Wesley Rugby Club has been proud to partner with Vision Sports Ireland as the host club for VI Rugby in Ireland for the past two years. We have observed firsthand the benefits derived from such a partnership – not only for people who are blind or vision impaired in accessing sport, but also for our own club and members in creating an inclusive and welcoming space for all. We are thrilled to be the first club to sign up to Vision Sports Irelands Associate Club Programme and we recommend clubs across the country to do the same.”

The decision to establish the Associate Club Programme arose from Vision Sports Ireland’s commitment to creating an inclusive sports sector and will help direct people with vision impairments towards inclusive clubs in a sport of physical activity of their choice.

Robbie Henshaw with VI rugby players and Vision Sports Ireland staff holding the Associate Club sign

Associate Club Programme Details:

Club Benefits:

  • Clubs will be listed as Vision Sports Ireland Associated clubs.
  • Vision Sports Ireland Associate Clubs will be eligible for funding opportunities offered by Vision Sports Ireland.
  • Clubs will receive a Vision Sports Ireland Associate Club accredited certificate.
  • Clubs will receive artwork for their website and social media platforms.
  • Club activities and participant recruitment will be supported by Vision Sports Ireland.
  • Clubs will benefit from programme start-up support for specific vision impaired initiatives.
Robbie Henshaw and the a mix of male and emale rugby players form the VI

Eligibility Criteria:

  • A minimum of four coaches/volunteers/committee members must have completed Vision Sports Awareness Training, including at least one committee member.
  • The club must align with one of the following:
    • Already have a vision impaired programme.
    • Already have participating members with a vision impairment.
    • Be open to establishing a vision impaired-specific programme.
    • Welcoming to vision impaired athletes/players to participate in the club’s mainstream activities.
    • Use accessible advertising posters (Support will be provided)
    • Clubs must be affiliated with the National Governing Body of their sport or similar.

Please note: Having your club as an associate club of Vision Sports Ireland does not provide insurance cover; such cover remains the responsibility of the club and its affiliated National Governing Body.

For more information and to Sign Up. Visit the link below.

Club Sign Up

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