Neil McManus partners with Self-Help Africa and Fibrus to support ‘Plant the Planet’ GAA games in Kenya
Antrim hurler Neil McManus has teamed up with Fibrus to join a host of Gaelic games stars from all corners of Ireland who will be travelling to East Africa as part of a week-long tour.
Taking place in Kenya from November 19 to 27, the historic games are the brainchild of Warriors for Humanity founder and former Galway dual player Alan Kerins and will feature 50 male and female inter-county Gaelic games players from football, hurling, camogie and ladies football. The aim is to highlight the impact of climate change and raise sufficient funds to plant one million trees in Africa.
Joining Neil will be an array of talent from Gaelic games including Wexford’s Matthew O’Hanlon, Kerry’s Stefan Okunbor, Kilkenny’s Grace Walsh and Niamh O’Sullivan of Meath, amongst others. Fibrus, the Northern Ireland based broadband provider, has pledged to support the project with a donation of €10,000.
Speaking ahead of the journey, Neil McManus said he was “proud and excited to support this fantastic initiative”.
“I’m deeply grateful to Fibrus for their support in allowing me to do so,” he said.
“The funds raised will go to Self Help Africa to support the planting of trees, essential not only to combating the increasing impact of climate change but also as a way of providing sustainable income for local communities.”
Speaking at the launch, Fibrus Chief Operating Officer Shane Haslem said the company takes its ESG commitments seriously.
“As a responsible business, we recognise that we have an important part to play in responding to environmental issues. Sustainability is a key component of our strategy and we are always striving to implement robust environmental practices.
“At Fibrus, we’re all about giving back to the communities in which we operate and connecting communities is at the heart of our culture. Neil McManus is not only known for the impact he has on the field of play, but also embodies this ethos so we are delighted to support him in this very worthwhile initiative, one which will change so much for the people of Kenya,” he said.
The players will take to the field for a challenge match at Nairobi Rugby Club, the first time an inter-county game will be played in Kenya. The trip will include representatives of all four codes: football, hurling, camogie and ladies football.
In addition to the games, the players will also take part in a series of cultural events to highlight the work being done by charities such as Self Help Africa in the country.
Founder of Warriors for Humanity and Plant the Planet Games, Alan Kerins said:
“It is incredible to have fifty warriors signed up, each one committing to raise funds in support of what is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime, that of climate change. This campaign, from which some of the world’s most vulnerable communities will benefit, will leave a lasting legacy in more ways than one, improving quality of living both in the present day and for future generations.
“This will also be the first time inter-county players will take to the field against one another on Kenyan soil, and we are hopeful that, along with the funds raised, this significant milestone will leave a lasting and positive impression on Kenya’s communities. As it has in many countries around the world, Gaelic games have an ability to bring communities together for a greater good and we are sure this campaign will be no different.”