Wanted, men and women to take part in white collar boxing for heart charity

And the winner is...Ollie Turner, Galway Bay FM’s head of sport practising his refereeing skills at the announcement of the Irish Heart Foundation’s Big Heart Fight Night white collar boxing fundraiser with the Galway Advertiser's Donna Larkin, All-Ireland kickboxing champion, and Eric Daly, IKF European champion (Photo: Joe Travers)

And the winner is...Ollie Turner, Galway Bay FM’s head of sport practising his refereeing skills at the announcement of the Irish Heart Foundation’s Big Heart Fight Night white collar boxing fundraiser with the Galway Advertiser's Donna Larkin, All-Ireland kickboxing champion, and Eric Daly, IKF European champion (Photo: Joe Travers)

A local heart charity is seeking men and women to take part in a white collar boxing fundraiser in the city on the eve of St Patrick’s Day.

The Irish Heart Foundation challenge, entitled the Big Heart Fight Night,s will raise vital money for the national heart and stroke charity’s “Listen to Your Heart, Not Your Head” and “Act FAST Stroke” campaigns in Galway.

Men and women of all ages and fitness levels are urged to step into the ring and help this worthy cause while improving their fitness levels. The challenge is open to anyone and people do not have to have any boxing or sporting experience.

They will train for eight weeks with a professional boxing coach before taking part in the glitzy event at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Friday March 16. The guest MC on the night will be Ollie Turner from Galway Bay FM.

Each of the 30 participants will be asked to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship which covers their training and equipment and the running of the night.

David Muldoon, the regional fundraising manager with the Irish Heart Foundation, says it promises to be one of the biggest events in Galway in 2012.

“We are looking for big-hearted people to take part,” he says. “The idea of stepping into a ring for most people is way beyond their comfort zone and this is what makes it such an exciting challenge. The white collar boxing concept allows for anyone to take part, both men and women, and challenge themselves. And they know that the money they raise will go towards helping beat heart disease and stroke which remains the country’s combined biggest killer.”

The Irish Heart Foundation, which was set up in 1966, is asking local businesses to get involved in the Big Heart Fight Night. Companies can sponsor a member of staff or any participant to take part and there are sponsorship packages available to businesses, including promotion on the night and being involved in the pre-fight promotion.

“The more companies involved the more money we will raise over the eight weeks,” says Mr Muldoon. “This will allow us greater resources to drive our messages into the Galway region. And it will also allow for some friendly rivalry among the Galway business community which is always welcome.”

To take part in the Big Heart Fight Night and find out more about this challenge contact David Muldoon, Irish Heart Foundation at (086 ) 3806941 or email [email protected]

Tickets priced €20 will be available shortly. Training will begin on Tuesday January 17. For updates visit Big Heart Fight Night Challenge on Facebook or www.facebook.com/bigheartfight

Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in Ireland, accounting for 35 per cent of all deaths. Half of these, estimated at 5,000, result from sudden cardiac arrest, when a person’s heart stops beating. About one fifth of premature deaths (under age 65 ) are from cardiovascular disease. Ireland’s death rate from cardiovascular disease has dropped from 54 per cent of all deaths in the 1980s to 35 per cent of deaths today.

Anyone worried about heart or stroke problems can talk to an Irish Heart Foundation nurse in confidence on the charity’s heart and stroke helpline Locall 1890 432 787. (Mon-Fri, 10am to 5pm ). The helpline is entirely funded by public donations.

The Irish Heart Foundation relies on charitable donations from the public and corporate world for 90 per cent of its finance. A small portion of its funding comes from the Government.

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