Mackin backin’ boosts ladies club scene

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Friday, July 12th, 2013
Community, Sport
Domestic ladies football in Armagh has received a major boost with news that Mackin Animal Feeds is to sponsor the club championships for a fourth consecutive season. The announcement was made in the Athletic Grounds at the official launch of the 2013 Armagh ladies league, which is also being sponsored by the Newry-based firm. “Having Mackin’s on board again for the club competitions is a tremendous boost for ladies football in the county,” enthused Armagh Ladies County Board treasurer Sinead Reel. “With the senior county team on the up over the past 12 months, there is a feel-good factor around Armagh ladies football but we need a vibrant club scene underpinning that so we will be building on firm foundations. “There is a strong culture of volunteerism in our sport but running competitions costs money and the support from Mackin’s is invaluable in helping us meet our obligations and balance the books. “But, equally importantly, the willingness of a successful company to invest is a statement of faith in Armagh ladies football and Mackin’s have become very valued partners over recent years. “In the current economic climate, attracting sponsorship is not easy so we really appreciate an existing backer being prepared to continue their support and we’ve a great working relationship with Peter Mackin. “It has been a very productive partnership to date and the turn-out of so many club representatives for this launch shows how much his investment is appreciated,” she concluded. Former County Board Chairman Owen Reel was influential in persuading Mackin’s to come on board as sponsors and, speaking at the launch, he praised the firm’s loyal backing through thick and thin. For his part, Peter Mackin, who established the business some three decades ago, expressed pride in being associated with Armagh ladies football and praised the professionalism he has experienced in dealings with the County Board. “Mackin Animal Feeds are pleased to continue this sponsorship partnership for another year, embracing both the all-county leagues and club championships at all levels,” he explained. “We have a good working relationship with the County Board and it is gratifying to feel that we are making a significant contribution to the sport at a local level. “All of us in the Armagh ladies football family have enjoyed the county team’s success in the past year. I’d like to commiserate with the players and management after their near miss in the recent National League final and Ulster Championship semi-final but am confident they will bounce back come the All Ireland qualifiers. “There are plenty of fine footballers in the Orchard county at present who not only give great service in the orange jersey but are faithfully passionate about their clubs. “I am proud of the fact that some of the best lady footballers in Ireland will be competing regularly in the Mackin Animal Feeds Football League and Mackin’s Senior Championship in the coming weeks and months. “Among the household names appearing in our competitions are All Stars Caroline O’Hanlon and Caoimhe Morgan, All Ireland Intermediate Championship winning captain Mags McAlinden, Queen’s University’s O’Connor Cup winning captain Sinead McCleary and Armagh Sportswoman of the Year, Fionnuala McKenna.” The launch was also attended by Ulster Council President Joe Lagan, officials from the Armagh County Board, Orchard captain Mags McAlinden, representatives of senior county team sponsors, the Carrickdale Hotel, and other backers.
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