Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar, TD, has emphasised the benefits that personal fitness and healthy activity can have on performance in the workplace as he announced Vodafone Ireland’s renewal of its sponsorship of Triathlon Ireland for a new three year term.
A keen triathlete, Minister Varadkar, encouraged companies to promote wellness programmes amongst their staff as it will lead to a healthier workforce and greater productivity. He also commended organisations such as Triathlon Ireland for doing a service greater than just promoting their sport by ultimately encouraging participation in healthy activity.
Minister Varadkar is announcing a three year deal by Vodafone Ireland to sponsor Triathlon Ireland. Vodafone Ireland – Ireland’s leading telecoms provider – has sponsored Triathlon Ireland since 2009, became its main sponsor in 2011 and is set to continue in this role for a further three years. In addition, Vodafone will have the naming rights of Triathlon Ireland’s national series, now called The Vodafone National Series. This is the top tier of Triathlon racing in Ireland consisting of 20 of the most competitive and prestigious races in the country. The series caters for ages 18 to 80 with overall winners crowned at the end of the season along with winners of the various 5 year age bands.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Leo Varadkar, TD, said, “We all know that budgets are tight and that the government had to reduce funding for sport. That’s why I really want to recognise Vodafone for their sponsorship of sport in recent years and to encourage others to follow their leadership. Triathlon Ireland is doing a really good job in promoting the sport and this announcement today should persuade more people to take up this great activity.”
Triathlon Ireland has seen its membership and, by association, participation in the sport grow by 120% since 2009. Last year membership grew by 15% alone and the organisation already has 1,000 more members than it had this time last year. Performance wise, its elite athletes are also making an impression internationally, with 55 Top 10 finishes at Continental Cup, World Cup & World Triathlon Series Races between 2010 and 2013.
Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary, an experienced triathlete, said that the company is delighted to be continuing its association with Triathlon Ireland. “This sponsorship is in keeping with our strong focus in Vodafone Ireland on health and wellness in the workforce, something I am very keen to promote. There are huge benefits from wellness programmes in the workplace, with international studies showing a three-fold return on the investment for businesses. If you are fit you feel better, you sleep better, you have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduced risk of illness, heart disease and stress. It’s also motivational as setting targets, whatever they are, gives a great sense of focus and achievement and this translates positively in all aspects of your life, including the workplace.
“Last year we had 120 employees participating in Vodafone Dublin City Triathlon which we also sponsor and so we plan to encourage even more to participate in Triathlon Ireland events throughout the year,” O’Leary added.
Welcoming Vodafone’s support, Triathlon Ireland CEO Chris Kitchen said, “Vodafone Ireland has been with us as a sponsor since 2009 and has supported us through the most rapid period of growth for our organisation. We are delighted that they have extended their sponsorship for another three years and their support will be key to helping us continue growing as an organisation and serving our members.”