Echelon Data Centres and the home builder Beakonshaw have agreed a €1.5m joint sponsorship deal with Wicklow GAA to support the development of players and grow participation in Gaelic games in the county.

As part of a five-year partnership, Wicklow’s home ground in Aughrim will be named Echelon Park Aughrim, while both Echelon and Beakonshaw companies will become Player Development Partners of Wicklow GAA.

Wicklow GAA will receive €300,000 per year from the five-year partnership, which runs from 2023-2028. This will hugely benefit the development of young players and grow participation at all levels in the county – including helping to increase coaching hours in schools, improving competitiveness at underage county level, and driving standards to broaden the talent pipeline for senior inter-county squads.

At elite level, it will fund the county’s Player Development Pathway, the appointment of a High Performance Director for Wicklow GAA, and the ongoing development of facilities at the renamed Echelon Centre of Excellence, Ballinakill.

The sponsorship covers men’s and juvenile male football and hurling in Wicklow. Along with naming rights to the Wicklow GAA’s home ground, the county’s player development centre will be renamed Echelon Centre of Excellence Ballinakill. Beakonshaw’s name and logo will appear on the sleeves of the Wicklow

GAA senior team jerseys, and on the front of Wicklow GAA juvenile team jerseys.

Speaking on behalf of Echelon Data Centres and Beakonshaw, Niall Molloy, CEO of Echelon Data Centres, said the sponsorship deal demonstrated the commitment of both companies to the communities where they operate.

“Echelon and Beakonshaw are delighted to be partnering with Wicklow GAA. The GAA is a central to every community in Wicklow and this relationship reflects our commitment to the people of this county,” Mr Molloy said.

“Echelon is building two data centre facilities in Wicklow that will provide high quality jobs, drive the digital economy, and be a template for sustainable modern data centre development throughout Europe.

We understand the responsibilities that come with that to support the people where we operate.

“Beakonshaw, like Wicklow GAA, is about building from the ground up. The GAA builds community, character, and inclusiveness through sport, while Beakonshaw is building much-needed family homes that will support the commercial growth that will deliver ongoing prosperity for Wicklow.”

“I can’t think of a better way for Echelon and Beakonshaw to support our communities in Wicklow than partnering with the GAA to provide sporting opportunities for all and to develop the stars of the future. I’m looking forward to seeing the footballers and hurlers climb the leagues and hopefully make an occasional appearance at Croke Park in the coming years.”

Pictured at the launch in the Glendalough Hotel, Co. Wicklow, are Martin Fitsgerald, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow GAA and Niall Molloy, CEO Echelon Data Centres

Martin Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow GAA, said the sponsorship was vital for the future success of GAA in the county.

“I would like to thank Echelon Data Centres and Beakonshaw for backing Wicklow GAA,” Mr Fitzgerald said. “The continued development of our players is a key strategic focus for us. The positive impact that this investment will have at all levels in Wicklow GAA is unprecedented and may be the most important partnership for our future development as an organisation.”

“It will allow us to increase support for clubs and schools at grass roots level – and it will also allow us to put in place the structures and resources required for our footballers and hurlers to compete at a national level.

“Wicklow GAA has ambitious plans for our minor and senior teams – but success takes talent, dedication, and resources. We believe we have the talent and dedication; now, thanks to this sponsorship deal with Echelon Data Centres and Beakonshaw, we have the financial backing to make it happen.”

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