Playing for Life was founded by well-known sportswoman and broadcaster Tracy Piggott following a visit to Ethiopia in 2004. Tracy was determined to set up a project that would use sport as a tool to help young people in some of the world’s poorest places, since sport has always played such a huge part in her own life.
In order to continue providing support to some of the world’s poorest countries and communities, Playing for Life is undertaking a major fundraising initiative throughout the island of Ireland with the support of Tesco Ireland, the Ladies’ Gaelic Football Association, Sport News Ireland and well-known sports personalities like Sonia O’Sullivan and Eamon Coughlan. The Run to Africa will take place over the first weekend in October with the help of the world-renowned athlete Haile Gebreselassie, who will be starting us off. Two treadmills will be placed in a Tesco store in each county in the Republic of Ireland and in locations throughout Northern Ireland. Volunteers, who will be asked to raise €100/£100 per kilometre, will be able to see the collective progress of the 9,500 km run from Dublin to Addis Ababa on a video screen (similar to the flight path display on a plane ).
Members of the Ladies’ GAA throughout the island are co-ordinating teams of runners and walkers to undertake the marathon trek over three days from October 3 to 5 and as well as their own team-mates, many figures from the world of sport will also take part, including Olympians Sean Kelly and Sonia O’Sullivan and All-Star players like Henry Sheflin and Barney Rock. Mayo sports stars will also be getting involved in the action in the Tesco store in Castlebar.
Information on Playing For Life projects can be found on the website www.playingforlife.ie, our own columinist John Maughan along with Liam McHale and other members of the Mayo senior football team and the ladies’ senior football team will all be pounding the treadmill in Castlebar over the weekend of October 4 and 5. If you’re interested in getting involved you can register online at www.runtoafrica.org or contact Playing for Life on 045 482479 or the Mayo event co-ordinator Claire O’Hara at [email protected] or on 087 976 0607.