MUNSTER rugby star Marcus Horan has joined the board of directors at the Learning Hub on Limerick’s northside.
The Clonlara man sought out and approached the Hub himself, with the twin aim of preparing for life after rugby and giving something back to the community after over a decade as a top player for the province.
Horan said he “jumped” at the chance to get involved in the educational facility, which is located in Thomondgate and which works to “make learning fun” for children and adults.
“I am coming toward the end of my rugby career and primarily I wanted to see how things work in a business sense and to get on the board of some sort of organisation,” explained Marcus.
“My remit was that I wanted something local, to be involved in the community and to be honest, I couldn’t have got a better place.
“When the Hub was described to me I jumped at it. I think this place epitomises the Munster spirit in a way, the underdog in that people probably don’t even know very much about the Hub here, and that it is very similar to Munster maybe back in 1999 or 2000. You look where Munster is now and that would be a drive for me, to help in any way I can to bring the Hub to the status in the city that it should be,” he added.
Jennifer Moroney-Ward, the Hub’s manager, said it was a “privilege” to have the Munster star join their board and bring his “spirit and positive attitude” to the facility’s organisation.
“Marcus came to us and we thought it was a fantastic opportunity,” she explained at the Hub’s open-night this week.
“We are working toward having a positive, healthy environment here and having someone like Marcus on the board embodies all of that. He brings a really fresh, positive, professional sports person’s attitude and has re-invigorated the whole place.”
The team in the facility work with education providers, statutory agencies and the local community to provide a “safe, welcoming and inspiring environment where young people can reach their true potential” and work with over 1000 kids, from pre-school to teenagers, developing responses to educational disadvantage and early school leaving. It is a non-profit, charitable organisation funded by a variety of local and national bodies.
Marcus said he was “blown away” by the work the Hub do with kids and adults from across the city and county.
“It is just exciting to see the potential this place has, and of course the work that has been done so far, it is just amazing. I am blown away every time I come here by what is going on and the enthusiasm that is here,” he said.
“I can see things that can develop here and I would hope to be a driving force for that in some way. Hopefully the future is bright for the hub,” he added.