OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF THE EXPANDING ‘DARE TO BELIEVE’ PROGRAMME

The Olympic Federation of Ireland has announced FBD Insurance as the sponsor of this year’s ‘Dare to Believe’ Olympic Schools Programme. Ireland’s homegrown insurer is the Official Sponsor of Team Ireland on the road to Tokyo, and this extension of the sponsorship will allow ‘Dare to Believe’ continue to grow and inspire schoolchildren nationwide. The announcement also included the unveiling of the 25 athlete ambassadors from across a variety of sports.

In its first year Dare to Believe, which was set up with funding from Olympic Solidarity support, has surpassed all its targets, bringing the Olympics in the classroom to over 5000 children nationwide. The school activation programme, championed and supported by the Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission, was developed by 2008 Olympian Roisin McGettigan, and as the programme moves into the next phase the focus is on further expansion, with a boost of sixteen new ambassadors to the programme, bringing the total to twenty-five athletes.

Dare to Believe, in association with FBD, will reach teach primary school students about the Olympism and the Olympic Values through a curriculum that includes over 40 of the approved education methodologies, and through interactive means the ‘five ring’ programme allows the teacher to explore broad themes that reflect the Olympic Values of Respect & Equality, Healthy Body and Mind, and Joy of Effort. The final ring focuses on Striving for Excellence which sees the athlete ambassador deliver their personal sporting story to the class, the changing environment has meant that these visits are now virtual. Dare to Believe Ambassadors also play a role in inspiring a wider audience of children nationwide through their involvement in the RTÉ Home School Hub and After School Hub Sports Week.

Olympic Federation of Ireland Commercial Director Catherine Tiernan said: “FBD Insurance have been a brilliant supporter of Team Ireland on the Road to Tokyo, and we are grateful of their extended support to help grow Dare to Believe. Last year’s programme was a resounding success, and we are excited to see it grow and expand even more this year.”

Oliver Dingley (Diving), Anna O’Flanagan (Hockey), Kellie Harrington (Boxing) and Sive Brassil (Modern Pentathlon) were on hand to launch the programme, with Oliver Dingley stating: “I am delighted to be a ‘Dare to Believe’ ambassador and I’m thrilled that Team Ireland sponsor, FBD Insurance, has come on board to support this brilliant programme. When I was young, it was always my dream to be an Olympian and I trained and worked extremely hard to try and make that a reality. I am honoured to be part of a programme that aims to inspire the next generation of Olympic athletes.  I look forward to telling them my story, passing on all of the skills I have learned from sport and trying to leave a positive impact on these pupils.”

A host of the Dare to Believe athletes, including boxer Kellie Harrington, hockey stars, Anna O’Flanagan, Roisin Upton and Emma Buckley as well as Oliver Dingley (Diving), Sive Brassil (Modern Pentathlon) and Brendan Boyce (Race Walking) will also appear on RTÉ’s After School Hub programme next week from Monday, November 23rd. Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission and Olympic medallist in boxing, Kenneth Egan, will also be on the RTÉ programme.

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