No sponsor in sight but Paddy Games will get a leg up
THE man behind the comical 'Paddy Games' has pumped €50,000 in life savings and bank loans into the event after failing to find a single sponsor.
Colin Carroll, a Cork-based solicitor, said he was determined to push on with the event next Saturday despite the fact that more 'athletes' have signed up from Somalia than from Ireland.
The games, which will include a 100-metre blindfold dash, a 400-metre crawling race, a loudest roar and mobile phone throwing events, are due to be staged at the Mardyke arena in Cork.
"Two months ago, I knew there would be problems with sponsorship," he told the Irish Independent yesterday.
"So I was forced to come up with a solution to salvage my own skin. Hopefully, this will make me millions but I'm down about €50,000 at the moment and I'm not returning the bank manager's calls, I promise you that."
Mr Carroll's adrenaline-fuelled adventures with Sky Sports' Graham Little were the subject of a recently broadcast RTE and BBC mini-series, 'Colin & Graham's Excellent Adventures'. In 2006, he fought in the sumo world champion in Osaka, Japan, attracting global media attention.
Mr Carroll has now set up his own clothing firm to be the title sponsor of the Paddy Games.
"Maybe in 10 years' time they'll write marketing books about me," he said.
"My life savings didn't reach five figures. I'm in deep here now.
"I'm throwing money down the drain here. But I honestly think I'm going to come out of it, and that Irish Empire clothing will get a huge boost."
Mr Carroll said that Sky Sports, the BBC and television crews from Holland and Australia were among the media committed to covering the inaugural event.
However, he confirmed that he was also struggling to reach his stated objective of hosting an event bigger than the inaugural modern Olympics, which had 243 competitors representing 14 countries. "We're struggling for participants at the moment -- I have about 150."
"Ireland, in particular, is sitting on the fence. We have more people from Somalia than Irish -- what is that all about?"
The Fermoy-based solicitor dreamed up the idea in 2007 during a live radio interview on BBC Radio 2 with Chris Evans.
A total of 30 events are due to be held next Saturday, including car hurdling, the high-dive belly flop, straitjacket wrestling and a mother/son wheelbarrow push.