Canadian Company Brings Young Connacht Hockey Player’s Dreams One Step Closer

Alanna Huban, Kinvara HC and Connacht U16 Development squad, at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Canadian-Irish automation software company, SmartSimple Software, is the first corporate sponsor to step in to support Connacht Hockey’s campaign to raise €1 million for access to much-needed facilities.

Connacht Hockey has launched its GoFundMe campaign under the name “Misneach Le Cheile”, meaning “Courage Together”. It calls for equal opportunities to access sports facilities for the hockey community, minority sports and Women in Sport in the West.

This appeal to raise funds and public awareness comes in a year of considerable focus on Women in Sport with the 20×20 campaign- “If She Can’t See It, She Can’t Be It”.

The 2018 World Cup silver-medal-winning ladies’ team is Ireland’s most successful international team of all time and will be representing Ireland at the 2021 Olympics.

The catalyst for the “Misneach Le Cheile” movement was the planned removal of the suitable playing surface for hockey in Oranmore.

This decision leaves the county’s five clubs, seven schools, Connacht development squads and veterans teams sharing only one full sized pitch at Dangan Sports Grounds. The community decided now is the time to fight for access to correct facilities for this minority sport.

Out of this setback, “Misneach Le Cheile” was born and is thriving.

Brendan Bradley, Managing Director of SmartSimple Software’s Dublin based office said, “The entire SmartSimple team is delighted to support Women in Sport and equal opportunities for accessing facilities in the community.

“We believe it’s important that both girls and boys in the Region have the same opportunity to stay active, build self-confidence and develop their skills and talents, all in a suitable space open to all.”

Since 2002, SmartSimple Software has helped over 375 notable organizations streamline their funding and reporting processes using their cloud-based collaboration and automation platform.

The company contacted Connacht Hockey when they learned of the campaign and offered their support to get the project kick started.

“Connacht Hockey’s campaign aligns well with our over five-year membership to the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion,” Mr. Bradley continued, “Inclusivity is a deeply important value of our team and how our software helps our clients to connect and empower their communities, so we stand strongly behind gender equality in sport”.

Mr. Bradley of SmartSimple Software commented on the inspiring 20×20 campaign for women in sport. He echoed the campaign’s focus to recognize women, whether in sport, at work or in their communities, as strong, valuable and worth celebrating.

Support from SmartSimple will help to realise the aspirations and dreams of young hockey players in Connacht – girls like Alanna Huban of Kinvara Hockey Club, who is on the Connacht Under 16 Development Squad.

Alanna recently handed in a letter to Minister Eamon Ryan TD at the Department for Transport Tourism and Sport, calling on him to support Connacht Hockey and her dreams of one day playing in goals for her country.

Aisling Keogh from Connacht Hockey stated: ”We are delighted and so grateful to receive the support from a company such as SmartSimple Software, a Canadian-headquartered company with strong Irish roots.

They have stepped in to show their support for Connacht’s campaign. Our sport is an Olympic sport and has a massive following worldwide. We would hope that other companies would join SmartSimple in supporting our endeavour to implement change for the better of all other sports.”

Kevin Keane, President of Connacht Hockey stated: “We are determined to hit our target on our GoFundMe campaign. We are confident that the business community in the West will follow SmartSimple’s lead and get behind us.

We are also reaching out to the people of Connacht, asking them to consider donating to the cause. We understand these unprecedented times are hard, but all donations big and small will help us to achieve our goal. We are so thankful to SmartSimple and all those who have already donated.“

To donate to the campaign, visit Connacht Hockey’s GoFundMe page today at https://gf.me/u/ym5vmk

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