Interesting piece in the Ir Indo.

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Seán Cronin
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Interesting piece in the Ir Indo.

Post by Mauler »

Banks, eh? Most of this nation and plenty of others around the world would like to see those who run them strung up from the nearest lamp post.
Politicians might be running them a close second in the 'Most Loathed Section of the Community' stakes, but you'd be hard pushed to find someone with a good word to say about the banks.
Well, here is someone, and this is a story about a bank and the outstanding work it has quietly been doing for rugby and deprived communities in some of the most disadvantaged parts of South Africa.
Estimates suggest that HSBC Bank spent between £3m and £4m sponsoring the 2009 Lions tour. But what isn't quite as well known is that an estimated £1m more has been spent on things like associated activities surrounding the tour.
What HSBC has been doing in the poor regions of this country is commendable. In tough, still grievously deprived areas like Soweto and Alexandra townships, HSBC ambassadors have been into the townships, spreading the rugby gospel, handing out kits, planting trees and enthusing the youngsters about a game virtually none of them knew a matter of weeks ago.
It's easy to be cynical and suggest that banks only do this sort of thing to 'buy' publicity. But let's look at the facts and you can judge for yourselves whether we ought to remain cynical or try being positive.
More than 4,000 kids have been 'reached' in South Africa by HSBC's programme, 82pc of whom had never played the game before. Five separate rugby festivals have been held -- Gauteng, Simondium, Port Elizabeth, Durban and East London. The organisers have worked with 'Tag Rugby' to create a safe, happy environment in which boys and girls from the ages of six to 14 have been able to run around, throw rugby balls about and generally put a smile on their faces. All of the youngsters are from townships.
The scheme started three months before the Lions tour began and will continue after its end on Saturday. Bank staff in centres like Johannesburg have given up many of their weekends to go into the townships to spread the rugby gospel. From each festival, a child has been chosen to be the official mascot at the Lions' non-Test games. None of them had ever been to a rugby match before; few had ever left their deprived home conditions. This is the reality of modern-day South Africa.
About 1,000 tickets were given away to local schools to see some of the Lions games, with transport there and back. When officials went to Rustenburg early in the tour, to an orphanage called the SOS Children's Village, they found children with nothing, wearing shabby, torn clothes trying to raise the enthusiasm to play in the street. No facilities existed for them.
The bank has a long-standing relationship with Education Africa, a Johannesburg-based charity, and they have built a sports pitch, at a cost of around £250,000, for youngsters from the Orange Farm community at Masibambane College near Johannesburg. Thousands of local youngsters will be able to use this much-needed facility for years to come.
Springbok wing Bryan Habana turned up unannounced at the Port Elizabeth Festival to join in. Habana refused any payment and demanded no PR or publicity prior to his visit. When he arrived, local kids went wild with joy. He coached for two hours and talked to the youngsters.
And the Lions themselves?
Well, they went to just one event, just four of them. But to make it possible, the sponsors had to pay £1,000 to hire a helicopter and fly them there. But Brian O'Driscoll, Nathan Hines, Gethin Jenkins and Ugo Monye were in for a shock. As they coached and mingled with the kids, they began to understand that there are other things in life; other priorities apart from rugby tours and matches.
They were all deeply moved by the experience and O'Driscoll is said to be donating all his training kit from the tour to the township. Since then, England centre Riki Flutey has asked whether there will be any other opportunities to experience such things. It looks doubtful.
For the most part, these Lions have just trained and prepared, played matches, travelled and trained again. They have attended far too few events of this kind in a country where such acts are so needed.
One photographer on the Lions tour who went to the pitch opening at Masibambane called it, "the best day of the whole tour." From such hard-nosed media men, that said a lot about this particular bank's efforts to help the local communities
'VJ Singh hits more balls than Elton John's chin' - David Feherty

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Rob Kearney
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Re: Interesting piece in the Ir Indo.

Post by Slipper1 »

so just 1 SA player showed at an event, and 4 times more lions attended charitable events.

while an interesting article, it is a little unfair on the players many of whom do huge amounts of work for charities around the world. BOD has a number of groups he spends time with, D'Arcy is a well known ambassador for GOAL.

typical indo looking to create controversy where ther is none to be found - How about HSBC - spending 4 times the amount on selfish self promotion by sponsoring a rugby team than they do helping poor people; shame on them.
Get in the f%~king bag.

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Leo Cullen
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Re: Interesting piece in the Ir Indo.

Post by ronk »

£1m "reaching" 4k kids. Sounds efficient. That's why everyone loves banks.

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Shane Jennings
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Re: Interesting piece in the Ir Indo.

Post by hugonaut »

Mauler wrote:But Brian O'Driscoll, Nathan Hines, Gethin Jenkins and Ugo Monye were in for a shock. As they coached and mingled with the kids, they began to understand that there are other things in life; other priorities apart from rugby tours and matches.
Jesus, the Indo is a rag – that's pretty insulting to the four mentioned players, as though they were a bunch of cossetted, stuck-up idiots. O'Driscoll was in Crumlin Children's Hospital a couple of days after the Grand Slam match with the trophy, for f*ck's sake, and as previously mentioned Gordon d'Arcy is one of GOAL's best known ambassadors. Shane Horgan is a patron of SOSAD, the suicide help/prevention charity. I know the latter two aren't mentioned/slandered in the article, but it strikes me that
a] the hack is a presumptuous knob; and
b] probably all the players mentioned have done more for charity or given more of their time to a good cause than he has.

Indo = The Paper That Sums Up Pretty Much Everything That's Wrong With Ireland

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Rhys Ruddock
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Re: Interesting piece in the Ir Indo.

Post by gfo »

wouldn't mind seeing that four mil going to people needing mortgages, apparently banks just don't have money to lend anymore....

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