A QUEEN’S University fundraising campaign, set up to increase participation of female students in Gaelic Games, has raised nearly five times its original target.

Tremendous spirit got behind the Crowdfunder campaign which saw it smash its original £10,000 fundraising target and finished up raising over £48,000 from 322 online supporters. 

The money will go towards increasing female participation in Gaelic Games, coaching opportunities for women and improving female students' mental and social wellbeing.

 

The university club’s impressive total was thanks to them taking part in Sport NI’s Project Reboot: Activate programme which was launched in 2021 to help sporting organisations engage and re-engage people in sport after the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme supports sporting organisations to raise funds for their particular sporting initiative by setting up their own Crowdfunder campaign.

The student fundraising drive now ranks as Sport NI’s most financially successful Crowdfunder campaign to date with £48,300 raised in total.  

Gavan Duffy, Queen’s University GAA Development Officer and Academy Manager, said he was overwhelmed by the positive response.

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“Raising over £48,000 certainly far exceeded our expectations and it will allow us to do so much more for women’s participation and coaching opportunities across the codes.

“Sport NI were brilliant in guiding us on setting up our campaign page. Activate also allowed us to tap into other funding from the National Emergency Fund and British Airways, as well as the £5,000 provided by Sport NI. Around half of our fundraising total came from funders and the other half from our supporters.

“What I would say is that we’re living proof that Sport NI’s Activate programme works and it’s well worth it for sporting clubs and PTAs to take part.”

Sports NI’s programme has already helped over 90 sporting clubs and organisations raise funds for their projects, with over £400,000 being pledged by Sport NI thanks to funding from the National Lottery.

Sport NI match funds raised for sporting projects by pledging 50 per cent (or 60 per cent if in a rural or a socially deprived area) of their Crowdfunder campaign up to a maximum of £5,000.

The GAA’s female participation project was one of several successful fundraising campaigns ran by Queen’s Sport through Sport NI’s Project Reboot: Activate programme.

Antoinette McKeown, Sport NI Chief Executive Officer, added: “What a great achievement by Queen’s University GAA. This proves just how powerful sport is in galvanizing support in our communities to help make sporting projects like this happen. 

“Sport NI’s Project Reboot: Activate has been an incredibly successful scheme and partnership with the National Lottery and Crowdfunder UK to date.

“The benefits of this project haven’t just been financial for organisations, it has helped grassroots sport build back better after the devastating impact of COVID.

She added: “It has also introduced, for the first time, many of our sporting clubs to the benefits of raising money via Crowdfunder UK as well as reaching and engaging with their ‘crowd’ online.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing many more ‘crowds’ getting behind their local sporting campaigns and help sport build, back better.”