Longford support sought for Ronan McCormack Charity Challenge 2018

Longford Leader Reporter


Longford Leader Reporter



The Ronan McCormack Charity Challenge 2018 was launched recently at Roscommon Leisure Zone. This year’s event will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 2 & 3.

As is usual the challenge kicks off with a choice of a 5 or 10k timed moonlight run/walk on Friday, March 2. The following morning it will be the turn of the cycle challengers who will take part in either a 65 or 125km route.

The cycle which will be fully marshalled takes cyclists on a tour of the county of Roscommon and surrounding areas. The eagerly anticipated fun darts competition takes place on the evening of Saturday, March 3 in Foxes Bar, Athlone Road Roscommon.

It is hoped that running clubs in Roscommon and the surrounding counties, the many walking clubs, the couch to 5k and similar groups will use this event as their goal and come on board to support and participate in this event.  

The 2018 programme promises to be a fun filled challenging event that can be enjoyed by all the family regardless of age or ability. Sports clubs of whatever code, the various operation transformation groups, boot campers and keep fit classes are encouraged to join with us to increase the team spirit within your own group.  

If you are a couch potato at home, or perhaps you walk or jog a few evenings per week but would like to be able to go quicker or for longer then this event is for you. If you are an accomplished runner but enjoy company while you train, this event is for you. If you have never cycled in your life but would love to try or if you can only mange a few kilometres on the bike at the moment then this is the event for you. The cycle is now a priority on the calendar of the local cycling clubs and once again all abilities are catered for during our training sessions and on the actual day of the cycle. It has become an important event in the local community and surrounding areas.

After the challenge and effort of both events our Social night will follow in Foxes, Roscommon on the Saturday night where our annual darts competition will take place. A special thank you to Luke Concannon and Tommy Beirne together with members of Roscommon darts committee who have always been so good in organising an efficient and enjoyable evenings entertainment

This twi day event is a perfect way to start the year off. It provides an excellent goal for all those New Year’s resolutions.

It would be impossible to organise an event like this but for the generosity both in terms of time and finance from our participants, sponsors and volunteers.

This is what makes this event a truly community occasion. This challenge has grown in numbers as the years have gone on and there is no doubt that the 2018 event will be bigger and brighter. Each year we are blown away by the level of support we receive. In 2017 and despite atrocious weather conditions a magnificent total of 480 runner/walkers took to the starting line. The next morning we saw 200 brave cyclist leave town on a “damp” spring morning to complete their part of the challenge

Our charities for 2018 will be Roscommon Special Olympics, Children’s Special Needs Services Galway and Pieta House West.

Roscommon Special Olympics provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with an intellectual disability, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Swimming, bowling, floor ball bocce table tennis and gymnastics are some of the sports catered for in Roscommon. 2018 is a big year for all involved with Special Olympics Roscommon as 8 athletes have been chosen to represent Roscommon and Team Connacht in the All Ireland games which are happening in Dublin in June 2018.

Children’s Special needs service Galway encompass Crannog Respite Centre and the John Paul Centre Ballybane. Zoe, who is Ronan’s beautiful 6 year old niece, avails of the services provided by these centres. Zoe was born with Pitt Hopkins syndrome; this is a rare genetic disorder. Physiotherapy plays a large part of a child’s daily programme in these centres. Funds raised will help provide much needed equipment which will in turn aid the physiotherapy Department of these centres. We hope to be able to purchase equipment that will help with rebound and hydro therapies. This equipment will hugely enrich the lives of Zoe and her friends attending these centres. A visit to either is inspiring; it is where Zoe, her friends’ teachers and therapists, despite facing much bigger challenges than we will ever know about it, go about their daily business in a happy cheerful environment

The focus of Pieta House West is to help to reduce deaths by suicide and reducing incidence of self harm in society. We all know the despair and anguish faced by families who try to cope with an incidence of suicide. Monies raised through this event help to provide much needed counselling service to the family left behind. To mark the incredible contribution from donators from Roscommon a dedicated therapy room is named in their honour. The room, known as the Roscommon room opened in April 2014.

If you are affected by suicide either directly or indirectly, or if you are experiencing mental health issues or generally feel under the weather for any reason please contact Pieta House West for help and support. As a community it is important that we strive to protect our people and do everything that is possible to stem the rise in suicide and self-harm

Online registration is now up and running and participants are advised to register early so as to guarantee receipt of their commemerative T Shirt and all important goodie bag for every participant.

Roscommon Sports Partnership plays an integral part in this challenge organizing our 8 week training programme. The support and commitment that Noel Feeley and his staff put into overseeing training is truly remarkable and we are lucky to have such dedicated and professional people associated with this challenge.

Training commences on Tuesday, January 2 at 7pm and continues every Thursday and Tuesday evening until the main event. Cycle training starts on Saturday, January 6 at 9.30am.

All sessions start from The Quad Centre Roscommon Town.  Training is open to everyone, of every age and ability from the complete beginner walker/jogger/runner to the experienced runner or cyclist. This is a wonderful opportunity to get fit and healthy after the winter break. It also offers an opportunity to everyone to get out, get active, have a chat and get fitter whilst everyone works towards a common goal.

It would be expected that this event will be very well supported and bring athletes and onlookers into town which should benefit the local business community. Local businesses are encouraged to come on board and organisers are open to any offer of sponsorship.

Businesses that sponsor or support the occasion will be offered an opportunity to take part in our showcase hub which involves pitching their business and advertising their services or product.  Last year over 1,000 athletes’ cyclists and their families rambled around our event centre so businesses may like to take this opportunity to promote themselves.

We would like to say a very warm and grateful thank you to our joint main sponsors Aiden and staff at MJ Farrell Jewellers Church Street Roscommon. Paraic and Trina at Foxes Bar, Athlone Road Roscommon, Ian Kilmartin and staff at Dolphin Car Wash, Racecourse Road Roscommon. Roscommon Leisure Zone will once again be our event HQ. We would like to thank Michael and Aisling O’Connor for providing the centre to us and look forward to working with them to ensure the smooth running of the challenge.

Thank you to Jimmy Maloney and Kathryn Dennigan for their help and continued support. 

This event is organised to remember Ronan, a wonderful young Roscommon man who left this world at the very young age of just 26 years. He was a kind fun loving young man who always was eager to help with his friendly smile and caring attitude. Ever practical, Ronan would be thrilled to know that in his memory to date €131,915 (one hundred and thirty one thousand, nine hundred and fifteen euro) has so far been raised for charity. This challenge reminds us of the love and laughter, amusement and devilment he brought to the world for the short while he was here. It is our way of ensuring that his memory never dies. We all know how proud he would be to know that even though we can’t see or hear him anymore that in his name good work is being done.

For further information check out Ronan Mc Cormack Charity Challenge on Facebook or 086 172 1181. 

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