Dublin City University and Decathlon Ireland have today announced a new three-year partnership that will see the leading sports retailer support sport and wellbeing activities at DCU from 2022 to 2024.
Through the partnership, Decathlon will make an annual philanthropic contribution to enable the work of DCU Sports and Wellbeing in providing over 150 of Ireland’s top student athletes with an extensive personal, professional and performance programme each year, whilst also providing a programme of health and well-being activities for 18,500 DCU students.
Decathlon is the world’s largest sporting goods retailer and opened its first Irish store in Ballymun in June 2020. The new partnership arrangement with DCU reflects both Decathlon’s commitment to engaging with its local North Dublin community, and also its mission to make sport accessible to as many people as possible.
DCU enjoys a strong reputation as one of Ireland’s leading universities for sport, winning the Student Sport Ireland Sports College of the Year award in 2019 and 2020. DCU’s recent sporting highlights have also included winning the Sigerson Cup in 2020, the top men’s collegiate Gaelic football competition, the Collingwood Cup in 2020, the top men’s collegiate soccer competition, and the Basketball Ireland Women’s Superleague in 2020. DCU Athletics teams have also dominated the university athletics scene over the last decade, winning the men’s and women’s team titles at the Irish University Athletics Indoor Championships for 14 consecutive years up to 2020. Nine DCU student athletes and graduates also competed in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
By supporting the work of DCU Sports and Wellbeing, Decathlon will also contribute to making sport an integral part of the student experience at DCU. The university’s 36 active sports clubs engage with 6,000 students each year and encourage students to participate in sport and physical activity, no matter what their level of ability. The clubs promote a diversity of sports that range from athletics, soccer, football and hurling to boxing, aikido, caving and fencing.
Bastien Grandgeorge, CEO of Decathlon Ireland said:
“We are delighted to partner with DCU Sports & Wellbeing, a prestigious university extremely close to our Decathlon Ireland Flagship store in Ballymun.
It is great to see a strong interest in sports at the university, not only from a perspective of elite student athletes but with all students on campus. We are proud to support the facilitation of sports to the students through our donations, but also with exciting opportunities for placements and internships with Decathlon Ireland for the students also.
I had the opportunity to speak with some of the elite student athletes of DCU, all of which have ambitious goals for both their professional and sports endeavours. The future of sports in Ireland is strong and we are glad to be part of this.”
Prof Daire Keogh, President of Dublin City University said:
“DCU is incredibly proud of the achievements of our high performance student athletes, who excel at intervarsity, national and international level. Equally important to us, is the promotion of sports participation among our students, with all the health and wellbeing benefits which that entails.
This exciting new partnership with Decathlon represents a major boost to the work of DCU Sports and Wellbeing as they support and develop the comprehensive range of sporting and physical activities on offer at the university.”
James Galvin, Director of Sports and Wellbeing at Dublin City University said:
“At DCU Sports and Wellbeing, we work to encourage every student to enjoy the life-shaping benefits of sport and physical activity and to provide our elite student athletes with cutting-edge supports that enable them to be the best they can be, in sport and in life. We know that sport and physical activity play a key role in many students’ positive experiences of their time at university; making friends for life, creating a “family” and support network away from home, building employability and life skills and supporting both their physical and mental wellbeing.
We are delighted to partner with a company like Decathlon that shares our belief in promoting sport and physical activity as an integral part of the student experience.”
In addition to philanthropic support, the partnership will also enable DCU and Decathlon to share knowledge and opportunities that benefit both DCU students and the Decathlon team. Decathlon has committed to promoting career opportunities to DCU students while DCU has agreed to share the expertise of DCU elite student athletes through an agreed programme of talks for the Decathlon team each year.