COROFIN GAA club will be hosting the 24-hour Run4Pieta event this weekend, to raise funds for Pieta House and its mental health services. The event will be held on the walking track at Páirc Finne, the GAA grounds in Corofin, and run from 6pm on Saturday to 6pm on Sunday.
This is not the first time Corofin GAA has held a high-profile charity event, raising €16,000 during their Climb Everest Challenge last year during lockdown, for which the whole panel of players took part in climbs of Mullaghmore that when combined made up the height of Everest in kilometres.
The funds last year went to helping those with cystic fibrosis, and this year a lot of consideration went into which charities were worthwhile for another fundraising event, as GAA and other sports finally start to see the light of day again.
Brian Gillespie, chairperson of Corofin GAA, explained: “We saw that Pieta House was calling on GAA clubs in particular to get involved in their 24-hour event, and some other clubs in Clare had done so already.”
Although the Climb Everest Challenge was only executed by the adult panel of Corofin players, the Run4Pieta is open to everyone in the community, Brian emphasises, even those living abroad; past club members in places like Canada and Australia have already supported the event by sending in videos of their five-kilometre runs in their respective resident countries.
For the 24-hour duration of the Run4Pieta, Brian says that there will constantly be five or six people running or walking around the track, and he encourages all members as well as supporters from the community to arrive and take part.
Both the adult and underage panels of the Corofin GAA club have been allocated slots to use the walking track, meaning that roughly 200 people are hoped to take part, both in Clare and abroad in places like Vancouver and Melbourne.
Brian added: “The Covid situation has brought about more awareness of issues with mental health, inside and outside of the GAA. Effects on physical health, the loss of loved ones, the loss of employment; there is a whole range of issues that have come about because of the pandemic.
“In GAA, as in any sport, it’s always important to make players, management and supporters aware that there is help out there. There are contacts and support groups that are trained to assist them.”
Pieta House offers 24-hour support for those suffering from issues with their mental health. Any enquiries about therapy can be directed to 081 8111 126.
by Conor Clohessy