Ulster hockey’s blue riband men’s competition, the Kirk Cup, has a new sponsor.
Northern Ireland Law Firm of the Year, Millar McCall Wylie, have confirmed a new deal which includes backing the tournament into 2020.
This year’s Boxing Day final will see one of the biggest rivalries in Irish hockey resume as holders Banbridge face Lisnagarvey at Stormont.
Chief Operating Officer, Christopher McCandless said: “The final of the competition is Ulster hockey’s biggest day of the season as the equally prestigious ladies Denman Ulster Shield is also competed for, and there have been some very memorable matches down through the years.
“Millar McCall Wylie is proud to support sport across Northern Ireland, from grass roots right through to senior level. We recognise the social, economic and cultural value of sport and the huge commitment it takes to be involved, whether that is playing, coaching or working at an administrative level.”
Marc Scott, Ulster Hockey Executive Manager, added: “We look forwards to developing a strong partnership and appreciate the positive and valuable impact which can be realised by the sport with the support of a prestigious, local business.”
“In addition, Millar McCall Wylie’s sponsorship will help support Ulster Hockey’s commitment to and partnership with NI Children’s Hospice. Funds raised on Boxing Day will go towards supporting the important service in Northern Ireland, caring for over 300 local infants, children and young people with life-limited conditions every year.
Millar McCall Wylie Partner Jan Cunningham added, “We are incredibly humbled by the work of the nurses and staff at the NI Children’s Hospice and thankful for the opportunity to support them in the fantastic work that they do, helping many young people and their families across Northern Ireland.”
Although the format of the competition has changed down through the years, the Kirk Cup has been competed for since the 1897-98 season. It is the oldest hockey tournament in Ulster and the oldest provincial hockey trophy in Ireland.
Ulster Hockey added: “The final is one of the biggest matches in the Irish hockey calendar, drawing huge numbers of spectators, especially after it moved to Boxing Day in 1966.
“Millar McCall Wylie’s backing of the competition underlines the award-winning firm’s commitment to local sport throughout the community, having already announced a two-year extension of its long running sponsorship of Ulster Rugby’s Junior Cup
“The law firm works in an advisory capacity with sporting organisations both at professional and amateur levels and regularly advises on issues such as image rights, sponsorship rights, governance and constitutional issues
Millar McCall Wylie also has expertise in the area of sports dispute resolution, especially mediation which is increasingly the procedure of choice for athletes, governing bodies, clubs and funding organisations.