Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy plans to get more involved in Foundation after golf career finishes

By Eamon Sweeney

Rory McIlroy has spoken about how he plans to become more involved in his charity work when he finally puts away his golf clubs.

The Holywood-born star, who set up The Rory Foundation in 2013, has helped to raise millions of pounds for good causes in recent years through it.

And while he has no intention of quitting the golf course in the foreseeable future, he is looking forward to dedicating more time to charity in the longer term.

In a new interview for Coutts & Co Bank Million Pounds Donors report, McIlroy said: "I would love to think that, in the not too distant future, once my golfing career is a little less intense, I will happily spend more of my time on the Foundation's projects and continue to grow it in as many ways as possible.

"And what's to stop us dedicating some of our future energies supporting research, illness or disease, or considering a dedicated facility for children's health and wellbeing?

"The possibilities are literally endless.

"I think there will be enormous challenges for philanthropy in the years ahead - just as there were challenges in the past.

"I believe that today's philanthropists are almost duty-bound to bring along the next wave of donors."

In October accounts revealed how McIlroy personally donated almost €1 million (£883,000) to non-profit organisations through his charitable foundation in the UK last year.

Among the projects supported by The Rory Foundation was the opening of Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, Co Down, a short-break centre for children and young people with cancer and their families.

McIlroy's interest in helping young people began in 2011 when, as a Unicef ambassador, he visited Haiti after it was devastated by an earthquake.

Explaining what motivated him to become involved in charity work, he added: "There was the realisation, by the time I reached my early 20s, that I was climbing the ranks as a professional golfer and being rewarded really well for playing the sport I loved.

"When significant sponsorship deals began to follow my career trajectory, the idea took hold that I could at least begin to consider some philanthropic projects."

He added: "I was increasingly aware that others were facing challenges and hardships that I, growing up with little to consider than improving my golf game, never had to endure.

"Having the visit to Haiti fresh on my mind, I felt that being able give something was enormously rewarding and meaningful - a real sense of purpose beyond my sporting life."

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