In 2016, The Rory Foundation donated £120,000 to Sport Changes Life to sponsor Victory Scholars, who were carefully selected primarily from US colleges.
My Foundation and Sport Changes Life share so many ideals and objectives that giving support to their programme was an obvious choice for me. The Victory Scholar students are driven young athletes hoping to further develop their skills at Irish universities while assisting local community outreach initiatives. Not every young person has the opportunities and advantages I had growing up, so I really hope these ambitious students will make a difference to many young lives and be a force for positive change in communities most in need – Rory McIlroy
Sport Changes Life, founded in partnership with Ulster University, seeks to raise the aspirations of young people through sporting excellence, vocational and academic achievement and personal development. Through its Victory Scholar program, Sport Changes Life provides scholarships to accomplished student-athletes who will act as sport mentors to help build self-confidence and inspire, improve life skills and empower youth to use sport as the catalyst to drive change in their lives. Sport Changes Life has expanded its Victory Scholars program to include two golf scholars based with founding partner Ulster University.
23 Victory Scholars arrived in Ireland in September and are experiencing a life-changing year in Ireland whilst studying at a Post Graduate level at partner universities throughout Ireland until May 2017. As part of the scholarship, the Victory Scholars have also undertaken community work.
In August of 2016, Rory McIlroy and the Rory Foundation hosted the Sport Changes Life Victory Scholar Launch at Nike HQ in New York. The event launched the class of 2017 and announced the partnership between the Foundation and Sport Changes Life.
We are extremely thankful for our partnership with Rory McIlroy and his charitable foundation, the Rory Foundation. Having the encouragement of a globally admired role model like Rory, has fundamentally benefited our ambitions for the Sport Changes Life Victory Program. Since 2007 we have changed the lives of 53 Victory scholars providing circa 5.3 million dollars’ worth of education to U.S student/athletes who in return have coached, mentored and helped over 191,820 young people across the Island of Ireland. Rory is an incredible role model with special parents who have sacrificed so much to allow Rory to achieve. It is our mission to help and support young people who just don’t have that support and help them achieve. That is the role of the Victory Scholar, to become a coach, a mentor and a friend to our young people and to build these important relationships – Gareth Maguire, CEO of Sport Changes Life