A novel Guinness record attempt will be made in Galway this summer in aid of five Galway charities.
‘We’re Planking it’ is the brainchild of George and Sene Naoupu, who for several years have been raising money for their different charities.
This year, however, the couple decided to join forces and the idea of a sporting challenge for all five charities was born.
The record which they are attempting to break is for the most people holding the abdominal plank position. It is being undertaken under the couple’s stewardship and a team of fitness instructors from their health and lifestyle business.
The benefiting charities include Self Help Africa, the Irish Heart Foundation, COPE Galway, ACT for Meningitis and Special Olympics Connaught.
The two New Zealanders are well known in sporting and fitness circles. George is a current Connacht Rugby player, while Sene is a health and lifestyle coach.
“ Since we have been in Galway both George and I have become involved with different charities, so we decided this year to see if we could help them out by organising one big charity event for all of them - it just grew from there,” says Sene Naoupu.
“It has been a challenge for the charities to join forces for the first time, but we have a great team and we are are enjoying moving forward with the challenge because of their willingness and help.”
Sene says the Guinness world record attempt is suitable for anyone who can hold the abdominal plank position for more than 60 seconds.
They are looking for individuals and teams of 10 from sporting clubs or gym buddies to help these five charities raise vital funds.
The event will take place on Thursday, July 3, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the Galwegians Rugby Football Club grounds on the Dublin Road.
And for those who may think planking is not for them, Sene and George are also organising a fitness challenge at the same venue.
Sene says this is a fun fitness workout in which local celebrities will take part, with TG4’s Maire Treasa acting as MC.
The Summer Fitness Challenge is open to people of all ages and fitness levels, including children.
There will also be face painting and children’s activities on site from 6pm making this a fun family-friendly event.
COPE says: “We are hugely grateful and very excited to be one of the chosen charities for the Summer Fitness Challange in July. This wonderful event is bringing five amazing charities together to raise awareness and much needed funds for their organisations.”
Participants in the Summer Fitness Challenge are also welcome to arrive early to cheer on the teams participating in the world record attempt.
Local businesses and sports clubs are invited to erect stalls around the grounds at a cost of €50 per stall with all proceeds going to the five charities involved.
The cost to participate is €10 per adult, €5 for children under 18 and a family ticket is €25. Pre-registration is available at http://www.iregister.ie/summerfitnesschallenge/ and registration will also be accepted at the event.
For anyone who wants to fundraise that little bit extra, sponsorship cards are available from each of the five participating charities, Sene Naoupu Health & Lifestyle Coach and Senshaper gyms across Galway. Monies raised will be divided equally between the charities.
ACT for Meningitis
ACT for Meningitis was set up in 2012 by Siobhan and Noel Carroll. After losing their beloved daughter Aoibhe, aged 4, to meningitis, they felt the need to create greater awareness of the signs and symptoms of this disease.
ACT for Meningitis is now the only charity in Ireland to offer free support services such as play therapies and counselling to anyone who has been affected by meningitis. Its family support officer will offer home visits and organise family support days to ensure no one faces this journey alone. As well as this ACT carries out various annualawarenesscampaigns, distributes thousands of Awareness Cards and gives free awareness talks in clubs, school and colleges nationally.
COPE Galway works in three distinct, but related areas: 1. Older People Services; 2. Domestic Violence Services; 3. Homelessness Services
Every year COPE Galway helps more than 1,500 people sleep safe at night, supports more than 600 women and their children seek refuge from violence at home, and helps more than 800 elderly people who feel isolated and alone.
COPE Galway believes older people should be able to live independently and safely in their own homes, supported and engaged with the community they helped build. Through its senior support services, COPE reaches out to those at risk of isolation, providing services to promote independence, healthy ageing, social engagement, and bringing together the local community supports and social networks.
It provides community catering, ensuring a healthy and nutritious diet and delivering more than 200 meals a day, and a number of lunch clubs across Galway city. Its Sonas Day Centre provides a focal point for community engagement, while the drop in centre provides a range of activities including arts and crafts, a film club, breakfast club, summer gardening projects, lunch club, and trips and outings.
The Irish Heart Foundation
The Irish Heart Foundation is Ireland’s only national charity fighting death and disability from heart disease and stroke. Set up in 1966, its work is as relevant today as it was then.
The foundation’s work covers five main areas, including research, pre- hospital emergency care, education, CVD prevention and patient support, and its expenditure is allocated accordingly. The Irish Heart Foundation is the largest voluntary funder of cardiovascular and stroke research in Ireland, participating in the search for novel treatments and cures.
Additionally the Irish Heart Foundation is the main source of standards, training and accreditation for CPR and resuscitation training in Ireland and has the biggest CPR training network in the country since it began in 1992. It also has120 resuscitation instructors based around Galway providing training for lay people and healthcare professionals there.
It has 200 Sli na Slainte (Pathway to Health ) walking routes around Ireland, including 10 in Galway.
This autumn it is focusing on a new information and education campaign – Hands only CPR - a two-step lifesaving process that any bystander can try to improve.
Special Olympics Connaught
Special Olympics Connaught provides year round sports training and competition for more than 1,400 adults and children with intellectual disabilities in Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, Longford and Westmeath through its 80 Clubs.
Some 30 sports competitions and development days are held annually in all sports, and public contributions go towards the cost of sending 228 athletes from this region to this summer’s Special Olympics Ireland Games held in Limerick June 12-15.
Special Olympics’ goal is to see every person on the island of Ireland who has an intellectual disability, be given the opportunity to participate in a sport or a developmental activity of their choice in their local community.
It is through the continued kindness of their donors, both at home and abroad, that they are aided in their mission of growing and developing their programme so that the needs of their 11,000 athletes, and those athletes of the future continue to be met.
Self Help Africa
For the last 40 years, Self Help Africa has worked with rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa to help them improve their farms and their livlihoods.
The organisation works in nine countries, supporting communities in their struggles with crop growth, farm production, education, and the development of off-farm enterprises.
Self Help Africa supports rural micro-finance programmes, assisting producers to organise into farmers associations and cooperatives, as well as enabling farm families to access
markets and add value to their produce.
With the danger of climate change making more of an impact on the African agricultural landscape, Self Help Africa promotes low cost sustainable solutions to the management of land and water resources.
The group works in some of the most destitute regions in the continent, where the farmer’s main motivation is to feed and educate their children.
Self Help Africa is aiming to improve the quality of drinking water in the worst affected regions where many children under five years of age die from water related illnesses every day.
SHA is hoping to engage a programme of water purification, installing six tanks of 8,000 litre volume for six selected primary schools in the Rift Valley Provence of western Kenya.