DUNLEER AC have confirmed this week that Coca-Cola has agreed to sponsor the 2013 Rás na hÉireann International on Sunday February 17th.
The club and its Rás committee were delighted to receive the news as they make final preparations for the top-class cross-country event at Oldbridge estate, held as part of a Week of Sport and Culture in partnership with Armagh AC who will be holding their International Road Race on the evening of February 14th.
The presence of the main Rás partners, in the form of the Office of Public Works (OPW), Irish Sports Council and AAI, Armagh Athletic Club and The Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative at the Tourism Section of Meath & Louth Local Authorities, ensures the continuation of the Sports & Culture Week.
Each of the partners has a hugely important role in the Rás na hÉireann project, which has gone from strength to strength each year since its inception in 1970 when Larry Mc Guill first organised the event.
The OPW's provision of the magnificent cross-country course, refreshments facility at the Tearooms and Battle of the Boyne Exhibition area which is open to visitors is of paramount importance as this fantastic venue provides 'one of the best cross-country courses in Europe', as reported by visiting English athletes last year.
The Irish Sports Council, through Athletics Ireland, is another big cog in the wheel, providing much-needed funding, as well as Irish men's and women's teams and managers.
This year the Rás committee partnership net has extended further to include The Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative, supported by Louth Local Authorities, Meath Local Authorities, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, awarding the Rás 2013 funding for its Week of Sport and Culture.
Finally, Armagh Athletic Club, through President Brian Vallely, the world-renowned piper and artist, and his committee provide an ideal partnership, with athletes coming to Ireland North and South to compete in the two races on the 14th and 17th. Full details on the Coca Cola Rás na hÉireann International Cross-Country programme are available on www.dunleerac.net and www.rasnaheireann.com.