The Toronto Arrows make a historic announcement when it was revealed that their jersey partner would be TIRF Rugby (short for the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation). This announcement is significant to the Arrows and the rugby world, as this is the first time in club history that the club has a non-profit organization as its front-of-jersey sponsor.
Toronto Arrows make a historic announcement with TIRF Rugby
What is TIRF Rugby?
TIRF Rugby gives a great explanation of who they are on their website. This is what part of it said: “Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation (TIRF) is a rugby-centered community development organization that uses rugby as a tool for social good.”
They have also been a registered non-profit organization since 2011. TIRF Rugby stated that they are trying to reduce barriers for children and that they serve 31 of Toronto’s low-income partnerships. TIRF Rugby worked “In partnership with Rugby Canada; Rugby Ontario, nine Toronto rugby clubs, school boards, and community service providers,” as also mentioned on their website.
This is great for many reasons. One is that it is just a good thing to have charitable organizations involved with the team. TIRF Rugby allows kids to play the sport and have fun and also teaches them the importance of teamwork. It could also be used as a way to follow a positive path in life.
Rugby union, for some notable and understandable reasons, is not played in playgrounds like basketball and soccer in Toronto. It can be a dangerous game, but it can also be a great and fun game to play with friends and family.
The last thing to mention is their goal to get people from multiple ethnicities involved in the sport. Look at the Canadian men’s soccer team that made the FIFA World Cup. Many of the players came from different backgrounds including captain Atiba Hutchinson, whose ethnicity is Trinidad and Tobago, and Milan Borjan, whose ethnicity is Serbian.
TIRF Rugby also made headline news on Global TV’s Making a Difference Segment seven years ago. It is worth checking out and reading about the organization and what it means to Toronto.
Partnership: TIRF Rugby and the Toronto Arrows
📸 A few bts snaps at today's 2023 kit presentation with our friends at @TIRFrugby pic.twitter.com/ZSbDKboCfn
— Toronto Arrows RFC (@TorontoArrows) February 14, 2023
Both TIRF Rugby and the Toronto Arrows did a YouTube video together on what this partnership means for each other. Arrows co-founder, president, and general partner, Bill Webb, said this on the Toronto Arrows TV YouTube channel; “Many of the Arrows players in addition have been in the program. We have actually had a number of our players coach in TIRF in the past.”
Amanda Neale-Robinson, Executive Director of TIRF, said this about the registration numbers: “26,000 children have been exposed to flag rugby plus 300 plus youth having access to Club rugby in some sort of way, shape, or form.”
These numbers are impressive and it shows that they are making a difference in the rugby union community. Finally, this is what Rahul Srinivasan, Chief Communication Officer of the Arrows, said about the partnership. “We can learn from TURF about how they rally people around with rugby being the focal point, right? That is essentially what we need to do as an organization to keep growing rugby in the city, so a lot of it is learning from them.”
As Srinivasan reiterated, the job is not done, as he clearly pointed out; “if this partnership is to be a case study or a good example of this sort of partnership coming together, it needs to be in the actions we take it is not just putting a logo on a shirt, it is what we actually do to support each other so I think it’s really about showcasing the values that we talk about and energizing our community around that and that’s again why this partnership I think is a win for us in 2023.”
The Arrows right now are Canada’s team. They are also a professional MLR rugby union team in Toronto, something the city never had the privilege of having until late 2018. Having a pro rugby union team does help people get interested in the sport and hopefully, it should help both these organizations grow and grow the sport of rugby union in Canada.
READ MORE: Rugby ATL vs. Toronto Arrows: 2023 Fire and Ice Cup is up for Grabs
Also, look forward to seeing these jerseys in the 2023 MLR season like with the Arrows’ first regular season game against Rugby ATL on Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Toronto Arrows co-founder, Webb, has confirmed on the Rugby Fans Canada Facebook group, that game will be televised on TSN.
Photo Credit: Alex Borthwick of the Toronto Arrows on February 8, 2023.