The weather Gods smiled on the organisers and participants in the Westmeath Lake County Movathon Challenge this Easter weekend with clubs and individuals making maximum use of the beautiful weather.
Shortly after 11pm on Easter Saturday the significant milestone of €100,000 in donations was reached in what County Chairman, Frank Mescall, described as ‘a huge coming together of GAA people in Westmeath’.
Twenty-four hours later the €110,000 barrier had been surpassed. Young and old, former and future stars, men and women, boys and girls, referees and umpires, county and club players, Gaelic footballers and Ladies Gaelic Football players, camogie players and hurlers, emigrants and locals, politicians and priests, county administrators and club officials all united in the common cause of progressing Westmeath GAA on and off the field. The Westmeath Lake County Movathon has been truly historic.
The creativity of Westmeath clubs and members was glorious to experience and some epic journeys were undertaken as people walked day and night for the cause of Westmeath GAA.
County Committee vice-chairman, Donie Malone, engaged in a venture that can only be described as epic as he completed his ‘Walk 4, Every 4 for 48 Hours’ mission. The journey began at 6am on Good Friday morning at the Caulry GAA pitch walking track and concluded 48 hours later at 6am on Easter Sunday at the same venue. In between, Donie walked four kilometres every four hours over the 48 hour period in a journey that involved visits to Dun na Sí Amenity and Heritage Park, the Magheramore Old Railway trail, Mount Temple Village, Treel-Knockadomney, Bellanalack-Clonyegan and Moate town.
The GAA community of Mount Temple, Baylin, Moate and beyond as well as Donie’s friends and family in Ireland and abroad showed their appreciation of the vice-chairman’s efforts and donated generously to push the fund towards the magic €100,000 barrier.
County Committee Chairman, Frank Mescall, was out early on Good Friday morning to lead off his team in the ‘Dawn to Dusk’ walkathon around the Ballynacarrigy GAA club’s walking track, while Central Council representative, Tom Hunt, passed the 30km virtual walk across and around the county also on Good Friday. Westmeath LGF manager, Seán Finnegan, passed the 250km mark on Easter Sunday.
The previous weekend saw our county senior footballers, hurlers and LGF players complete various challenges. On Easter weekend, it was the turn of the county minor football panel to complete their Movathon relay organised by team manager Vinny Cox.
However, the contribution of the Leinster champion men of 2004 was special and rekindled wonderful memories for Westmeath’s loyal GAA supporters.
In the words of Damien Healy ‘despite how follicly challenged or rotund we may be’ the group embarked on a 2004km challenge that included Brian Morley in Canada and Colin Whyte in New York in support of the Movathon.
Damien was a clear winner of the Oscars for production, originality and outstanding performance in a leading role in a social media contribution. Check it out on the Westmeath Official GAA Facebook page although Joe Fallon’s production from a boat on Lough Ree was also a contender.
Not to be outdone several of the men who played in the famous National Football League match against Derry back in 1994 also provided their support.
Hectic Club Activity
It was also a weekend of continuous activity as the club’s of the county reacted positively and with creativity to Frank Mescall’s promptings. Club members and supporters from Athlone, Garrycastle, Caulry, Rosemount, Castledaly and Tang were witnessed walking, running and cycling, their united efforts positively affecting the fundraising initiative.
The county hurling and camogie clubs participated in the Strikeathon challenge designed by Westmeath GAA hurling committee.
The hurling and camogie clubs and adult and underage players from around the county were challenged to hit 1,000 sliotars each to obtain an overall total of 500,000 sliotar strikes by Monday evening.
Upon Movathon Challenge reflection, a weekend of great pride for the Westmeath GAA community.