RUSA Foundation named as new Academy shirt sponsor

Nov 23, 2020 | Archive

LARNE Football Club is delighted to announce The RUSA Foundation as the principle shirt sponsor of our Academy Scholarship Programme, which will see the Foundation’s branding appear on the home and away playing jerseys once the Northern Ireland Executive allows non-elite sport to recommence.

The Foundation, which is based in the UK, has been recently founded and is funded by Ross Lazaroo-Hood and Sitki Gelmen of Landmark Underwriting, our official Main Stand sponsors. It aims to support local communities through grassroots sport, giving a helping hand to individuals or groups to maximise their potential.

Ross Lazaroo-Hood, Co-Founder and Trustee of The RUSA Foundation, said, “The RUSA Foundation was set up by myself and Sitki to provide a better future to those in grassroots competing sports.

“I am very proud that the inaugural project for our Foundation is with a youth scholarship programme and am delighted that the partnership is with Larne Football Club which is based in my own hometown.

“I am very happy to have seen my childhood friend, Kenny Bruce, bring the club to an amazing place and with Niall Curneen’s work with us to deliver this project.”

Ross added:” I am excited to see all the future rewards and successes that will be generated by everyone in this Scholarship Programme via our long-term partnership with Larne Football Club. I am a true believer that embracing a culture of working together, by being dedicated and fully unlocking your potential you will build strong pillars for your future. A special thanks to all our trustees for their support now and in the future.”

Sitki Gelmen, Co-Founder and Trustee of The RUSA Foundation, added: “To be a part of The RUSA Foundation holds a personal significance and I am thrilled that we, at the Foundation, have been able to partner with Larne through our progressive programmes that we have set up. I would like thank everyone involved in the project and especially our trustees for their continuous support”

The Academy Scholarship Programme was officially launched in August of this year, and has so far included students from Northern Ireland, England and Australia who benefit from full-time education at Inver Park, alongside daily training sessions in a professional environment with UEFA qualified coaches.

Club Chairman, Gareth Clements said:“It gives me great pleasure to unveil The RUSA Foundation as principal shirt sponsors of our Academy Scholarship Programme.

“Ross and Sitki are no strangers to Inver Park of late, having sponsored our Main Stand through their insurance underwriting firm Landmark. The two guys are joined on the board of The RUSA Foundation by fellow trustees Marina Bradford, Mika Janhunen and Nicola Corfield.

“Seeing a need for energetic, non-profit work in the area of supporting grassroots competitive sports, the purpose of the foundation is to assist teams and individuals in their growth and ability to compete. It was this vision and values that instigated conversations around our ground-breaking Scholarship Programme.

“The synergies of what we are trying to achieve through sport and education, to give young adults a clear pathway to the world of work through learning in a sports environment was very appealing, and fitted hand in glove with what The RUSA Foundation are looking to support.

“The trustees, members, and volunteers of The RUSA Foundation have a mission statement aimed at providing momentum to help them affect change. They look to provide solutions that make a long-lasting difference to the youth of tomorrow.

“I firmly believe that if we can continue to grow and mould this first intake of Academy Scholars, we will have many of them knocking on the door for first team recognition as the season progresses.

“This continuous investment, improvement, and development of our young adults both on and off the field of play in 2021, is our commitment back to The RUSA Foundation for their investment and indeed trust in Larne Football Club.

“I look forward to seeing the fruits of these joint investments come to fruition.”

For more information on what the RUSA Foundation can offer, you can visit Details on how to apply for our Scholarship Programme can also be found at LFC-BTEC-IN-SPORT.pdf (

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