On Friday 23rd September, The Wallace High School in Lisburn launched its new venture with ten Northern Ireland companies. The Business Club is based on a loyalty scheme that, if successful, will see the School benefit from a cash boost from the ten member companies towards the development of sports’ facilities.
“Every time a parent, pupil, member of staff or governor from Wallace High School purchases a product or service from one of our Business Club members, the company in question will donate a percentage of that money back to the school”, explained Richard Lee, Sports’ Development Fundraiser at The Wallace High School.
The idea of a loyalty scheme is certainly not new, supermarket chains have been implementing similar schemes for decades, and many companies have referral schemes in place in return for cash back or discounts. In an era when sponsorship and grant funding is becoming increasingly difficult to find, the Business Club satisfies a need both for industry and the School.
The first project to be tackled is the construction of two synthetic turf hockey pitches which would replace two gravel hockey pitches at the School that have become increasingly obsolete as part of the modern game.
Currently the School has approximately six boys’ teams and twelve girls’ teams in the hockey club, transporting players out to several locations in Lisburn and Belfast on a daily basis for practice sessions. The arrival of two new hockey pitches will not only help develop hockey at the School and in the Lisburn area, but will inevitably help the school save money in the long run.
Deborah O’Hare, Principal, said of the scheme “Schools are faced with significant budgetary constraints and the grants available for sport, to date, have very restrictive eligibility criteria. The Board of Governors in Wallace, through their appointment of a Sports’ Fundraiser, Richard Lee, is determined to look at innovate ways to ensure the upkeep and improvement of sporting facilities. The interest shown by local companies in the Business Club has been most encouraging. “
The first ten companies to sign up to the Business Club are; Total Hockey, First Time Driving School, Professional Mortgage Solutions (NI), The Bayview Hotel, ROCO Auto Solutions, Positive Solutions, Pioneer Promotions, Charles Hurst, Curry’s Megastore Lisburn and Lisburn Fuels.