I arrived at a small pub in New York for the first time in my life and was greeted by a small woman with a thick Irish accent that I could barely understand. Aimee Shiels, my main point of contact from Sport Changes Life, met me with a big hug and immediately took my bags from me so I could meet the other scholars that were inside. After some friendly introductions and a check in at the hotel, we prepared for the launch event at the Nike office in New York. Being that the Rory McIlroy Foundation recently partnered with Sport Changes Life, everyone was ready to meet Rory McIlroy and see what kind of person he was like. When he walked in we all immediately turned our attention to him since we knew that a golf star was in our presence for the first time in our lives.
We were all ecstatic when we found out that we would have the opportunity to do a short Q & A with Rory before the event started. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Rory was extremely down to earth and personable with everyone’s questions. It was clear very quickly that he was invested in our well-being as ambassadors of the Sport Changes Life program. It was great to meet a professional athlete who wants to be actively involved in community that they grew up around.
The launch event itself was amazing as well. As I listened to some of the other ambassadors of the organization speak, it finally started to sink in that I would be a part of something special. I started envisioning myself making a meaningful difference in the Irish community. Rory’s sponsors, Nike and Bose, also provided us with some brand new gear as a welcoming gift to the program. I can’t thank them enough for their generosity. The launch had me motivated and ready to begin my journey. #NowForTheFlight