Posted on Thursday 14 November 2013 by Ulster Business

Coca Thank You Fund Winners

Health Minister Edwin Poots joined Coca-Cola to reveal the winning recipients of this year's Thank You Fund totalling £100,000, three of which will carry out initiatives to promote healthy and active living in Northern Ireland. Pictured (left to right) are Sarah Keane, CEO of Swim Ireland, Matthew Crawley, Monkstown Boxing Club, Health Minister Edwin Poots, Ailish Forde, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Paddy Davidson Head of Programmes, Education, Training and Development, The Prince's Trust Belfast.

Coca-Cola has revealed the winning recipients of this year's £100,000 Thank You Fund, three of which will carry out initiatives to promote healthy and active living in Northern Ireland. 

From a total of 11 winners from across the island of Ireland, Swim Ireland was awarded the top prize of £21,000 from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund. Also among the winners were Monkstown Boxing Club in Newtownabbey and The Prince's Trust based in Belfast, each receiving £8,000 in funding.

The top prize of £21,000 will enable Swim Ireland to make their 'Swim for a Mile Challenge' a reality. The winning initiative, to be launched next April and every year after, will challenge members of the public in the Republic of Ireland and across Northern Ireland to compete in an all-Ireland competition to swim a mile – indoors or in the sea – with Swim Ireland providing a training program, nutrition advice and motivation for all those wanting to take on the challenge.

Building on the success of the Irish Olympic Boxing team at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Monkstown Boxing Club will use their £8,000 funding to deliver the 'Box Clever' project – a 40 week development programme in partnership with Monkstown Community High School to deliver a newly developed non-contact boxing and after schools programme for Year 8 & 9 pupils. This initiative is a first for Northern Ireland but has shown strong results in Great Britain among those young people participating such as improved confidence, interpersonal skills and self-esteem together with improved performance at school.

The Prince's Trust, believing every young person should have the chance to succeed, will use their grant to deliver the Trust Fairbridge programme to Northern Ireland for the first time. Fairbridge is an individually tailored personal development programme combining one-to-one support and group activities for the most marginalised and disengaged young people aged from 16-25. The same programme in the UK has demonstrated significant results e.g. helping people move into employment or return to education; reduced criminal activity from young offenders as well as rehousing young people who were homeless and reducing drug or alcohol abuse among substance users.

Ailish Forde, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland, today congratulated the winning not-for-profit recipients of the Thank You Fund.

"The funding awarded to each of the 11 winners will result in exciting, diverse initiatives designed to promote healthy, active lifestyles being realised across the island of Ireland. I would like to congratulate all of the entries on their creativity and passion, the calibre of the proposals received by Coca-Cola this year was very impressive. I would also like to thank our panel of judges that had the onerous task of selecting a shortlist from over 300 entries."

"Coca-Cola is delighted to be able to play a meaningful role in supporting these groups, helping to bring their worthwhile visions to life which will benefit the lives of so many people. We look forward to keeping in touch with our recipients and witnessing the various projects take effect across the country," she said.

The remaining eight winning recipients of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund each receiving £8,000 to carry out projects promoting healthy and active living across the island of Ireland include:

  • The Irish Hockey Association
  • The Camogie Association
  • Irish Basketball Association
  • Europa Donna Ireland Limited
  • Louisburgh HQ
  • Dundalk Simon Community
  • Listowel Community Centre
  • Inkwell Youth Group

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund was established in 2011 and seeks to recognise and support projects and initiatives that promote active lifestyles across the island of Ireland. The successful projects were chosen following a public vote on the shortlist, which accounted for 50% of the final score. A judging panel including Sarah O'Connor, Chief Executive, The Federation of Irish Sport; Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive, The Wheel; James Laverty, NICVA; fitness expert Karl Henry; nutritionist Paula Mee, Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy and Erica Roseingrave, Public Relations and Communications Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland awarded the remaining votes.

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