RiverRidge Continues Sponsorship of Oxford Bulls

RiverRidge is delighted to continue our support of the Oxford Bulls disability football club, returning as player sponsor for 2024, as the team prepares for its eagerly awaited football tour of Liverpool in June.

Based in Derry/Londonderry, the Oxford Bulls football team, which consists of players from the Derry City and Strabane district council areas with down syndrome and autism, will play several challenge matches against other similar ability-teams from the North-West of England during the tournament. The team will also have the opportunity to take part in premier league stadium tours and expert coaching sessions.

At RiverRidge, we have been a long-time supporter of the Oxford Bulls and the fantastic work that it does. Back in 2018, we were proud to sponsor player, Conan Norris, the team’s number seven, and we’re thrilled to return as Conan’s sponsor for the 2024 tour!

The sponsorship provided by RiverRidge will cover Conan’s accommodation for the duration of the tour, as well as his food throughout. It will also cover him for guided tours of two premier league stadiums, coach transport to and from the matches, coaching sessions with an FA Disability Coach, as well as entertainment including tenpin bowling and cinema trips.

Chris Fillis, Operations Director at RiverRidge, recently welcomed Conan to our Maydown site to present him with his sponsorship cheque, as well as giving him a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility. Chris also presented Conan with a signed Coleraine FC football, and finished the tour with an invitation for the Bulls to play at the famous Coleraine Showgrounds later this year.

Chris said, “We are delighted to return as Conan’s sponsor and continue our support of the Oxford Bulls as they prepare for their upcoming football tour in Liverpool. The commitment from all of the players and coaches is truly impressive, and to have the opportunity to play in an away tournament will be a very exciting event.”

The Oxford Bulls club is now in its ninth season, with players training every Sunday at the Glenaden Arena in Derry/Londonderry.  Beginning with just six players, the team has now grown to sixteen and has been publicly recognised for its work by a host of organisations including Derry and Strabane district council, and the Irish Football Association.

Kevin Morrison, Coordinator of Oxford Bulls FC said, “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Chris and all the team at RiverRidge for their continued support and sponsorship.   In fact, RiverRidge was one of the first companies to sponsor a player back in 2018, when we last went on tour and their support has made a great difference. Conan is one of our most talented, hardworking and competitive players and he always relishes a challenge so he cannot wait to get going, thanks to the company’s support.

“We are very excited about our upcoming 2024 tour as it will offer Conan and his teammates the opportunity to travel as a team, boosting their confidence, co-operation and communication skills. It will also give the kids the opportunity to play against Down Syndrome teams they have never played before, in venues that are new to them.

“The Oxford Bulls is more than just a football club; it gives our players and team members the chance to develop a whole host of skills, in addition to their football skills, and allows them to develop friendships and valuable support networks.”

Kevin concluded by saying, “Our approach as a club revolves around treating our players in the same way as their typical counterparts, and as a result, our players have become ambassadors and positive role models for people with Down Syndrome around the world.”

Prior to the tour in June, the Oxford Bulls will be continuing to perfect their skills during training, with plans in place to hold a training session with an FA disability-specific coach. The Club’s co-ordinators are also trying to organise a meet and greet with some Premier League footballers, which would be a fantastic treat for the players.

From all the team at RiverRidge, we wish Conan, Kevin and all at the Oxford Bulls good luck with their training and upcoming tour. We look forward to following the club’s progress! If you would like to find out more about the Oxford Bulls, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/OxfordBullsFC