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  • Writer's pictureDanny Joyce | Editor

ALDI and Irish Rugby are encouraging children to get active with their ALDI Play Rugby programme

Now in its 7th year, ALDI Play Rugby is a national programme aimed at primary school children across Ireland.  As part of its commitment to help children stay healthy and physically active, ALDI has undertaken research into children’s involvement in sport and the associated benefits.

The independent survey has found that a significant 3 in 4 people believe that sports facilities should be made more available to children in their local primary schools. To date, more than 30 primary schools have shared €500,000 in ALDI funding through the ALDI Play Rugby sticker competition, with a further €100,000 set to be distributed this year. Primary schools across Ireland are invited to enter for a chance to win a sports facility makeover worth €50,000.

The survey has also revealed that more than 1 in 5 children are not participating in regular exercise, at home or in school. ALDI believes that starting young is the key to staying physically active into adulthood. The research has found that only 19% of respondents participated in team sports as children and continue to play as an adult, despite a resounding majority agreeing that adult participation in sport has a wider variety of benefits.

Respondents said that sport has a positive impact on both physical and mental health (87%), acts as a healthy social outlet for adults (88%) and provides valuable skills that can be applied to other areas of life including work and relationships (81%).  When it came to assessing the positive impact that sport can have on the lives of children, most respondents observed that sport has significant health benefits (88%), provides kids with valuable skills that can be applied to other areas of life (88%), and provides them with greater opportunities for making friends (88%). This shows that children’s participation in sport can help instil lifelong healthy habits and ensure they stay active into their teens and adulthood.

Developed by the IRFU and supported by ALDI, ALDI Play Rugby is a free, supervised, and non-contact rugby programme that provides boys and girls with a fun introduction to the sport. Schools are offered access to invaluable resources including sessions with Community Rugby Officers, online coaching resources and free coaching equipment.

Speaking about ALDI Play Rugby, James Ryan, ALDI ambassador and Irish Rugby International, said: “Sport changes lives. Not only does it help foster healthy habits that can last a lifetime, but it also enables kids to make new friends, acquire leadership skills that can be used on and off the pitch, and develop resilience. ALDI Play Rugby has made a difference to so many children. I hope even more primary schools will get on board this year so we can get more kids out playing sports. And who knows? Maybe some of them will be lining out in the Aviva Stadium some day!”

ALDI Group Buying Director John Curtin added: “The stats from our survey have revealed just how important it is for kids to get involved in sports from a young age, so we are delighted to help enable this to happen in schools across the country through our partnership with the IRFU, and with competitions like our current Play Rugby Sticker initiative.

Last year, we had over 117,000 boys and girls go through the programme and to date we have helped 30 schools improve their sporting facilities through an investment of €500,000. At ALDI, we are committed to continuing this investment in the health and wellbeing of young people, with a further €100,000 set to be distributed this year.”

ALDI Play Rugby Sticker Competition

ALDI shoppers can collect one sticker for every €25 spent in any of the 155 ALDI stores nationwide. A completed poster of 300 stickers will earn the school an entry into the prize draw. Posters have been sent out to over 2,000 primary schools nationwide and can be ordered from Over 100 completed posters have already been submitted, showing a huge appetite from schools for funding for sports equipment. The closing date for entries is April 27th, 2023. One school will win €50,000 and another 10 schools will win €5,000 for their school’s sporting facilities.

Additionally, each sticker offers ALDI customers a chance to win their weekly shop! All customers have to do is scan the QR code on the back of their sticker and enter the unique code at for a chance to win one of 10 x €200 ALDI gift cards weekly from January 16th until April 23rd, 2023.

Slán go fóill.


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