Is your club prepared to make a marathon effort for charity?Â
Dear club member,
My name is Ronan Rocks, and I would request your assistance in fund raising to help raise awareness of cancer and cardiac risk in the young.
On Saturday 15th October in Bellaghy, there will be clubs from all over Ireland taking part in a 15km relay run around the village in aid of two hugely worthwhile charities, Marie Curie Cancer Care and CRY.
Every club that enters needs just five members, be they male or female, to run the course. If every individual were to raise Â£100 in sponsorship, we could reach a target of Â£20,000. (Â£500 per team).
Initially set up with the aim of attracting all 40 Derry clubs, the event has already grown far beyond what we might have hoped.
To name but a few, teams from 5 times All-Ireland winning Crossmaglen Rangers and 2004 All-Ireland champions Caltra will be in attendance.
The reason I am doing this is because I know the effects that both cancer and sudden adult deaths can have.
I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkinâ€™s Lymphoma back in April 2004, after discovering a lump on my neck a few months before, little did I know what was ahead of me, but with chemotherapy and massive help through Antrim Hospital I was back playing football by the middle of 2005.
A week before the county final that year, my sister in law Marcella Doherty died of a sudden cardiac illness, ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy). She was a seemingly healthy 24 year old woman.
The statistics are frightening. There are well over 2,000 senior club footballers, hurlers, camogs and ladies footballers in Derry at this present minute. Statistics show that one in three people will contract cancer at some stage in their lives. So of those 2,000 active men and women, almost 700 will need the help that the likes of Marie Curie provide at some stage. The other 1,300 will more than likely have to deal with the effects of watching someone suffer with the disease.
In the decade and a half since the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) was formed, they have raised money to assist in the battle against sudden cardiac deaths among young people.
CRY, among other things, have played a huge role in the push for young athletes to be screened for heart conditions, and are continually doing research into conditions as they affect athletes and the general population under 35.
But whatâ€™s in it for you?
Any club which participates has a chance of winning Â£1,000 in the form of an Oâ€™Neills sports voucher, 2nd will receive Â£500, and 3rd will take home Â£250. All 5 runners will do 3km each making their way back to the club to hand over a baton for the next runner to go, and so on till the 15km is completed, should prove very competitive and a chance to pit yourself against many teams from Derry and beyond.
Anyone wishing to take part can contact me on 07875 400 839, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also intend to set up a bank account for anyone wishing to make a voluntary donation in any way.
I look forward to hearing from you,