Ulster Rugby proud to support Care Day 2017

Young people, staff and volunteers from Include Youth flying their flag at the Ulster V Edinburgh Guinness PRO12 match on Friday.
Young people, staff and volunteers from Include Youth flying their flag at the Ulster V Edinburgh Guinness PRO12 match on Friday.

ULSTER Rugby this week pledged its support for 'National Care Day 2017' which champions positive messages about children and young people in care or leaving care throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.

At Ulster's Guinness PRO12 win against Edinburgh on Friday, young people, staff and volunteers from charity partner Include Youth took to the pitch with the message 'Proud to Support Young People in Care'.

Paddy Mooney, Director at Include Youth, said:

"Ulster Rugby's staff, fans and team have really thrown their muscle behind our #CareDay activities this month and are helping us to raise awareness about our work with young people in or leaving care. From donating match tickets to the young people engaged in our projects for their home games, to featuring young people's stories in the match night programmes throughout February."

Twenty-one-year-old Rico Letang, a care leaver from Belfast who featured in Friday night's match night programme, is one of the young people attending the Glasgow Warriors match on Saturday 18th February. He said:

"At school I participated in football, Gaelic, hurling and cross-country running but I'd love to try rugby. It's always been something I would like to do. I watch most Ireland games when they're on TV, but I'm more of an All Blacks fan secretly. I'm definitely looking forward to the Ulster match, as it'll be my first time watching a proper match at a stadium."

Fiona Hampton from Ulster Rugby said:

"We're very proud to be able to give these young people their first ever taste of a professional rugby match at Kingspan Stadium and make sure they know that Ulster Rugby and the wider rugby community will welcome them with open arms.

"We know through our partnership with Include Youth that many young people who grow up in care miss out on being able to take part in sport due to an unsettled home life or multiple foster placements.

"While we support Include Youth's work all year round, we're very proud to join with them and all the other individuals and organisations throughout the UK and Ireland to mark #CareDay on 17th February 2017."

The Care Day campaign is headed up by VOYPIC (Voice of Young People in Care) in Northern Ireland in partnership with four other organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

Support the achievements of care experienced children and young people on Friday 17th February 2017 by following #CareDay online.

ENDS

Media enquiries: Sharon Whittaker, communications coordinator at Include Youth, sharon@includeyouth.org or 028 9031 1007