Sports heroes launch 2018 Aldi Community Games Festivals

Former Ireland, Lions and Munster captain Paul O’Connell and Olympic Bronze Medallist Rob Heffernan were joined by kids from Limerick Community Games in University of Limerick
Former Ireland, Lions and Munster captain Paul O’Connell and Olympic Bronze Medallist Rob Heffernan were joined by kids from Limerick Community Games in University of Limerick

Rob Heffernan and Paul O'Connell lent their legendary sporting status to help launch the 2018 Aldi Community Games Festivals this week.

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9 February 2018 | 0

Former Ireland and Munster captain Paul O’Connell and Irish athletics hero Rob Heffernan joined forces this week to help launch the Aldi Community Games Festivals 2018, with the help of children from Limerick Community Games in University of Limerick – the new home of the games up until 2020. Upon the launch, Aldi announced it has renewed its sponsorship programme for three years.

The purpose of the Aldi Community Games aims to encourage and introduce young people to a love of sport and culture, focusing on participation rather than winning. More than 160,000 children across 575 communities are expected to take part in over 200 scheduled regional events, supported by 20,000 volunteers, in May (25th – 27th) and August (17th – 19th).

Speaking at the launch today, Aldi Play Rugby Ambassador Paul O’Connell said swimming was his favourite sport growing up. “I got my first taste of competition at the Community Games,” he said. “I remember loving the feeling of representing Limerick and it always motivated me to do well.

“Taking part in Community Games helped me immensely in terms of my confidence, and I learnt the importance of preparation, determination and dedication – values I later applied on the rugby pitch. I’m now into the second year working with Aldi as an ambassador for Aldi Play Rugby.

“Between working on this and seeing what they have done with Aldi Community Games,” O’Connell said, “it is clear to me the great commitment Aldi has to developing the community support initiatives that they are involved in.”

Meanwhile, Olympic Bronze Medalist, and former Community Games competitor Rob Heffernan said the Aldi Community Games is all about participation.

“Children come from all over Ireland,” he said, “and being around their peers and having fun in a safe and sporting environment is better than any medal they could win. The event sends a message to children from an early age that they can achieve their dreams no matter how big or small through local and national sporting and cultural events. I have the fondest memories of my time taking part.”

For more information, see www.aldicommunitygames.ie

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