IT is a win-win situation after two sports clubs in north Antrim united to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
McQuillan’s GAC Ballycastle and Carey Faughs have left their on pitch rivalry to the side to unite forces to raise much needed funds for Marie Curie.
The charity had issued an ‘Emergency Appeal’ due to Covid19 putting fundraising on hold with funds for Nurses and Hospices being needed now more than ever.
Caoimhe McShane, Mc Quillan GAC Club public relations officer, said: “Both clubs have many members involved in the local Marie Curie group, so it made sense for us work together to raise as much as we can for this much needed service.
“Their biggest fundraiser takes place at the Lammas Fair and this 400 year tradition has also been cancelled due to the current pandemic.”
This incredible fundraiser has involved club members of all ages, as they use their daily exercise during lockdown, to clock up their kilometres by running, walking or cycling and posting this into their respective groups.
“It has given everyone a great buzz and the club social media platforms have been used to keep everyone motivated. The posts and the videos have been excellent and have really captured the spirit of what we want to achieve.
“We have also been blessed by the weather and the fact that we live in an area of incredible beauty, with the striking Fairhead linking both Carey and Ballycastle, so it is easy to exercise from our own doorsteps.
“Everyone is very respectful when we are out, crossing over the road and maintaining social distance, calling out to each other so the banter has also been good.
“Families have really enjoyed getting in on the challenge and we have club people from everywhere posting in their pictures from Liverpool, Belfast, County Down, Dublin, Derbyshire and even Canada to name a few.”
It had been originally planned for the squads to take on the challenge to race from ‘Fairhead to New York’, but such has been the response they arrived in New York in just 3 days clocking up an amazing 5,855.71km, exceeding all expectations.
Added Caoimhe: “We decided to keep the challenge going and to continue on to Australia adding a further 16,020km to the journey.
“There are so many of our younger members from both clubs out in Australia and they had already set up their own group out there clocking their distances and making donations, so we agreed it would be a nice touch to go on and ‘pick them up’, if only we were really able to take them home!”
This target was again smashed and the clubs made it to Sydney with 5 days to spare.
Caoimhe added: “It was a real challenge to get back home again, but the groups within the clubs, not just the players but the ‘Carey Fit Club’ and our ‘Brighter Nights’ crew plus the committee and supporters groups were all keen to keep going until the challenge was met’ and that they did.
Within the 14 Day target that was set, they collectively covered a massive 40,592.93km through running, walking and cycling – a phenomenal effort.
The equivalent distance of travelling from Fairhead to Sydney via New York and back home to Ballycastle again, with 2,463.93km to spare. That’s a lot of exercise!
The clubs had originally set a fundraising target of £2,000, however this amount has also been surpassed as well with over £16,000 pledged to support Marie Curie to date.
Martin ‘Cubby’ Mc Auley, who is involved in the management of both Mc Quillan’s Senior Camógs and Carey Faugh’s Hurlers, spoke highly of the epic journey the two clubs have been on.
He said: “What a fantastic effort from everybody involved with both clubs. To see the phenomenal community spirit at such a difficult time is heart-warming and a pleasure to be a part of.
“I would like to thank everybody for their efforts locally and from all over the world, raising funds for a cause close to so many hearts in our local community”.
Winnie McGarry, the treasurer of Marie Curie Moyle group, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response – the clubs came to us with this idea and the uptake has been brilliant; it has been fantastic and shows how generous everyone is in times of crisis, especially in these uncertain times, where there are many individuals and organisations in need.”
If you would like to contribute to the McQuillan’s GAC and Carey Faughs fundraiser for Marie Curie go to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fairheadnewyork
The Just Giving Page will remain open to allow anyone who has not yet donated to do so.
McQuillan’s and Faughs would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thanks to everyone who has donated so far.