FIVE sports clubs in Newmarket-on-Fergus are joining forces in a bid to unite their community and raise funds for charities.
Newmarket-on-Fergus GAA, Newmarket Celtic, Newmarket-on-Fergus camogie, Newmarket-on-Fergus ladies’ football and Newmarket-on-Fergus handball have come together and using the slogan ‘Staying apart but coming together’, have launched the Newmarket-on-Fergus 500 Mile Challenge.
Over the weekend, individuals will clock up a mile each with the target of hitting 500 miles. Each participant is asked to donate €10 and can do so online through GoFundMe via any of the club’s social media channels. All funds raised are going towards the Newmarket-on-Fergus based South Clare Meals on Wheels, Bunratty Search and Rescue, Newmarket-on-Fergus Men’s Shed, Sláinte an Chláir and Pieta.
Mark O’Malley of Newmarket Celtic said, “We’re kind of idle at the moment; all the lads are doing their own training and stuff. With it being so quiet, why not come together and do something for the community? Darren Duggan set up the GoFundMe page and with Gráinne, secretary of the club, they thrashed it out and they came up with the charities and the idea. It’s going well so far. About €1,500 has been raised and the target is €5,000.”
Sometimes different sporting clubs who take their playing base from the same area can have a frosty relationship but in Newmarket, there is co-operation. “We have a good relationship with the hurling club, especially in the last few years with the likes of Eoin Hayes, Eoin O’Brien and Stephen Kelly, who are great at both sports. They’re the ones who would suffer if there was a divide. They’re trying their best to juggle both sports and play the bigger games for both teams. There is communication between everybody. We’re trying to look after the boys as well, so they don’t suffer burnout or things like that.”
Colours from each club will be on show over the weekend. “With the amount of people walking and running around Newmarket-on-Fergus, it has resembled a socially-distanced Olympic village at times,” committee member and senior hurler Páraic McMahon quipped. He appealed to people outside of the parish to show their support.
“Every cent raised from this fundraiser is going to a very worthy cause,” Newmarket senior camogie player, Aimee McInerney said, while donations “will make a difference”, Podge Delaney of the handball club stated, as he praised the work done by the five beneficiaries. “Our teams would love to be out on the field but if we can make a success of this, it will definitely be a way of bringing the community together in a superb manner,” said chairperson of the ladies’ football club, Niamh Glenny.