The Mall in Castlebar may not have been humming this year with the 11th Mayo.ie Women’s Mini Marathon - but its spirit was very much kept alive with the staging of a virtual Mayo Day 10K Your Way, last Sunday.
Organised through Mayo Sports Partnership, approximately 1,000 participants from across the region and beyond celebrated the annual event, by either doing a full 10K or a tag team 10K, all adhering to HSE guidelines. The vast majority of participants raised much needed funds for local and national charities including Western Care, Mayo Roscommon Hospice, Mayo Mental Health, Cancer Care for Children, Physios COVID19 Campaign and many more.
Cllr Michael Loftus, Chairman Mayo Sports Partnership, commented: "It never ceases to amaze me the goodwill and generosity of people when it comes to events like this. On behalf of Mayo Sports Partnership, I would like to congratulate and thank everybody across the Mayo Day weekend who raised funds for many charities while also keeping active."
Sports teams, community groups, workplaces etc all used their imagination and creativity to complete the 10K with many photos and videos posted to the mini marathon Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WOIWomensMiniMarathon/
One particular group, Moy Davitts Ladies GAA Club, went to great lengths to get all the club involved, making a substantial donation to the Cancer Fund for Children - see video here https://www.facebook.com/moydavittsladies.foxford/videos/1430792850457883/
Due to the current COVID19 Pandemic many people were delighted to be part of an initiative to keep them active, with Ballina woman, Ann Egan, stating: "The mini marathon has been part of my life for the last 10 years or so. I was delighted to run four loops around my house at 12 noon today to be part of such a great event. Thank you so much for keeping us active."
Maura Hastings, from Kilmeena, added: "I think the mini marathon organisers deserve a big thank you for all you have done over the years. The event means so much to a lot of people. You have encouraged so many ladies, secondary school girls and most recently primary school children, to get active, not to mention all the money that has been raised for charities."
Along with the Physios Covid-19 Campaign, an estimated several thousand people, including individuals and families, were active over Mayo Day weekend. While raising funds for charity and donning the county colours was a primary objective for some, for others it was to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, which is so important in this current environment.
Charlie Lambert, Head of Mayo Sports Partnership, praised the input of all the Sports Partnership team and partners - Mayo.ie, Western People and Sport Ireland - saying: "There was a groundswell of opinion amongst all our stakeholders that we should try and organise a virtual event that everyone could participate in. Massive thanks to all the Sports Partnership team who devised the event format and to our supporting partners. I can assure you the mini marathon will be back on the streets of Castlebar bigger and better than ever in 2021.
“Huge congratulations to Aileen Shaw and all the physios on their COVID19 success,” he added.
Mayo Sports Partnership continues to promote physical activity in the community and information on its #BeActive campaign can be found on its Facebook page www.facebook.com/mayosport1
Printed exercise resource sheets for older adults or people with a disability can also be obtained by phoning the Sports Partnership office on 094 9064360 or email [email protected].