Following on from the success of previous years the organisers behind the annual 10km ‘Run for Ollie’ event are looking even more runners and walkers, to take part in this year’s event, on Saturday, June 16, and help raise even more funds for a worthy cause.
What better way to get active this June than taking part in a competitive but fun event which takes place in Milltown, Co Galway, while at the same time helping to raise funds for the medical care of local man Ollie Burke. In 2007, the 35-year-old had been carrying out electrical work when he fell from a ladder resulting in severe head injuries. As a result of the acquired brain injury the former GAA player spent 20 months being treated in hospital and is now severely incapacitated. Mr Burke’s friends rallied around to organise the ‘Run for Ollie’ event with every penny going directly on the 24 hours care and rehabilitation that is needed.
More than 600 people including professional runners, triathlon participants, and walkers took part in last year’s event and it is hoped that this year the numbers, and the funds raised, will be even greater.
Speaking about event, Gerard Bowens said: “The past two years have been so successful and there has been an unbelievable atmosphere with hundreds of competitors coming to Milltown for the run. Even though we're just a group of friends and not professional event organisers, our previous two events have shown that we run a truly well organised and professional event.
“Unfortunately there was no insurance in place to fund Ollie’s care so we need to raise money to look after him. He needs 24 hour supervision and is unable to do ordinary tasks like eating or dressing. He recognises his family but can’t communicate. Ollie is blind in one eye and has limited use of his left hand. However, he can walk which is great but he is unable to leave the house unaccompanied. He has also developed serious epilepsy and is prone to regular seizures. It simply goes without saying that we, and Ollie's family, need all the help we can get.”
This year's run will take place on Saturday, June 16, at 3pm. Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome and all participants will receive a technical running T-shirt and medal. Parking, registration, changing and showering facilities are available at Milltown Community Centre and the local GAA pitch. To view the route map go to www.friendsofollie.com Participants can register for this year's run at a cost of €30 by logging on to www.runireland.com Registration will also be open at the community centre, Miltown, Co Galway, on Friday, June 15 (6pm-9pm ) or Saturday, June 16 (11am- 2.30pm ). The main sponsor of the event this year is Health West Pharmacy, Ballindine, Co Mayo. The first 300 people to register will receive a care pack from Health West Pharmacy.
For more information on Ollie's story and/or to donate to his fund go to www.friendsofollie.com Set up in 2009, Friends of Ollie is a registered charity that provides additional financial support for the maintenance, care, health, and assistance of Ollie Burke. Donations are eligible for tax relief (Organisation ID: CHY12124 ) and can be made online.