Sports clubs have been advised to plan for a future without funding from Bank of Ireland, with the conclusion of a long-standing sponsorship agreement between Trinity Sport and the bank, The University Times has learned.
In an email to captains and committee members, seen by The University Times, Matt Dossett, the deputy head of Trinity Sport, wrote that a “support partnership” with Bank of Ireland will conclude “as scheduled” at the end of this month, and that clubs should “commence contingency planning for the absence of key sponsorship for the forthcoming year”.
Three club captains confirmed to The University Times that today’s communication is the first time they have been told about the end of the agreement, which grants them funding for sporting activities every year.
In the email, Dossett said that while workshops earlier in the year provided “positive ideas and feedback” regarding sponsorship options in the future, the coronavirus pandemic “delayed the process” and affected Trinity Sport’s “ability to progress certain areas”.
Dossett added: “We will be arranging a follow up session shortly to communicate findings and next steps.”
Bank of Ireland has been a key sponsor of sport in Trinity since 2015. Under the agreement, the bank provided funding to sports clubs as well as partnering with Trinity Sport on scholarships awarded to top athletes, as part of a wider agreement between College and the bank.
Trinity did not respond to a request for comment on the status of its agreement with Bank of Ireland.
As part of Trinity Sport’s “Raising Our Game” initiative, launched in 2015, four “focus sports” – rugby, hockey, GAA and rowing – were chosen by College to receive extra funding from Bank of Ireland.
In 2018, The University Times revealed that men’s sports teams were consistently receiving more funding from Dublin University Central Athletic Club (DUCAC) than women’s teams.
Out of 52 allocations, made over four year to 13 different clubs, only on four occasions were women’s teams granted more funding than their male counterparts. The 13 clubs counted in these figures included the four “focus sports”.
In 2016, Trinity converted its Hamilton Restaurant into a Bank of Ireland branch with a student “business incubation hub”.
Meanwhile, Trinity’s new Business School – opened last May – has run executive education classes alongside Bank of Ireland since last year.
Tangent, the College’s “ideas workspace” for entrepreneurs, was set up in 2018 with the support of Bank of Ireland.