Rory McIlroy and his charitable foundation, the Rory Foundation, today announced that Sport Changes Life will be the primary beneficiary of this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, which is now just 100 days away.
Sport Changes Life work in disadvantaged communities in Northern Ireland to help young people find a path to a brighter future with the help of international student-athletes, the Victory Scholars.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation, will be held at Portstewart Golf Club from the 6th to the 9th of July. Other charities in the region who will also benefit, will be announced over the coming months.
“I’m delighted to announce that Sport Changes Life will benefit from this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open," McIlroy said. "Sport is obviously an enormous part of my life and has been since I was a kid. It’s so diverse and to be involved in some shape or form is a great way to gain confidence and express yourself.
"To host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for a third year is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to going to Portstewart.
"We’ve really seen the tournament grow over the last number of years and it’s a great platform to showcase what my Foundation does. To see how charities can greatly benefit, and especially after the win last year, means a lot to me."
Sport Changes Life is a registered UK charity and US non-profit organisation, founded in partnership with Ulster University. The primary goal of Sport Changes Life is to provide an opportunity for raising the aspiration of young people on both sides of the Atlantic, so that they can live out their dreams and guide them as sport changes their lives.
Barry Funston, Chief Executive of the Rory Foundation said: “I’m delighted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is back in Northern Ireland this year.
"The tournament enables us to build on our platform for positive change reaching into the community and developing innovative initiatives to help children and young people in most need.
"Having teamed up with Sport Changes Life over a year ago, we’ve seen what great work they’ve done with their Victory Scholar initiative and we’re excited to continue our partnership into the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
"A percentage of all ticket sales from the tournament will go directly to the Rory Foundation. We are very much looking forward to a sell-out event.”
The money raised by the Rory Foundation for Sport Changes Life will go towards their eHoops programme. eHoops is a 24-week programme designed for youth aged between 14 and 19 years of age.
The programme is created to mentor young people through difficult times in their lives and address social issues of concern with the aim to help the young people with their education, job search, health and mental well-being through the aid of the Victory Scholars.
Sport Changes Life are currently aiming to establish the programme in Coleraine, Ballymena, Portrush, Londonderry and Belfast.
Gareth Maguire, CEO and Co-Founder of Sport Changes Life, said: “We are honoured and excited to be selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Rory Foundation, as they host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
"We would especially like to thank Barry Funston for all of his efforts as we work together to create more opportunities that will change the lives of the young people we are working with through sport.
"Together, Sport Changes Life, Rory and the Rory Foundation have been building towards raising the aspirations of young people in the areas around Northern Ireland that will benefit greatly from our programmes. We can’t wait to support Rory and the Rory Foundation during the Irish Open.”
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation takes place at Portstewart Golf Club from July 6-9 and tickets can be purchased from http://www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com/ or http://roryfoundation.com/.