13 February 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Colm Shalvey reports

Lough Egish brothers Ciarán, Tony and Breandán Ward have raised more than €16,000 to date for SOSAD Ireland and have extended their lockdown challenge into February. Having already more than doubled their initial target of 300km on their daily runs at Aughnamullen GAA complex walking track, the Wards have now set a new goal of 1,000km.

Their JustGiving page has received donations of over €16,000 in aid of Irish suicide-prevention and bereavement support charity SOSAD, who have announced that they will be setting up a branch in Monaghan Town by the end of March. Meanwhile,Donaghmoyne Fontenoys U-15s concluded their virtual round-thecountry run this week, having clocked up almost 1,700km in the last month.

The young group received messages of encouragement from a raft of intercounty stars over four weeks, including Ethan Rafferty and Oisín McConville (Armagh); Mattie Donnelly and Darragh Canavan (Tyrone); Michael Murphy and Kevin Cassidy (Donegal); Ultan Kelm (Fermanagh); Killian Clarke and Aishling Sheridan (Cavan); Enda Smith (Roscommon); Paddy Durcan and Cora Staunton (Mayo); Conor and Eoin Cleary and Anthony Daly (Clare); Iain Corbett and TJ Ryan (Limerick); David Clifford and David Moran (Kerry); Ian Maguire (Cork); Conor Sweeney (Tipperary); Pádraig and Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny); Kevin Feely (Kildare); Ciarán Kilkenny, Paddy Small and Carla Rowe (Dublin); Jordan Morris (Meath); Monaghan star Conor McManus and Donaghmoyne’s own David Garland and Cora Courtney.

GAA’s Healthy Club ‘Every Step Counts’ Challenge
Almost 25,000 walkers representing over 600 clubs have amassed an incredible tally of 2.3 million kilometres over the last few weeks as part of the GAA’s Healthy Club ‘Every Step Counts’ Challenge. In the void left by the cessation of training and matches, the GAA Healthy Club Steps Challenge, delivered in partnership with Irish Life’s MyLife App, has provided the GAA community with a healthy competitive outlet.

The initiative has taken on additional importance in light of the forced postponement of Ireland Lights Up (delivered in partnership with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation and Get Ireland Walking) due to the escalation of community transmission rates of Covid-19 around the turn of the year. The GAA is still hoping to activate Ireland Lights Up as soon public health restrictions allow and will keep the 600 clubs that have already registered updated on any changes.

Any club that tracks more than 4,000km – the equivalent of walking around the coastline of Ireland – during the seven-week long challenge will be entered into a prize draw, with three O’Neills vouchers to be won in each province. Five Co Monaghan clubs (Carrickmacross, Clones, Drumhowan, Latton and Monaghan Harps) have passed the 4,000km barrier. Drumhowan’s distance covered of more than 17,000km left them still among the top ten clubs in Ulster this week.

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