Huge turnout as Skerries folk go extra mile for Goal fundraiser
IF you encountered dozens of people walking laps of the pitches at Skerries Rugby Club on New Year's Day it was not your imagination playing tricks on you but merely some local fundaisers spilling their sweat for the annual Skerries GOAL Mile.
While the rest of us were nursing hangovers from New Year's Eve, these brave souls were walking theirs off as they completed a mile by circling the club's playing pitches.
The mammoth effort was all in a good cause as the people of Skerries joined hundreds of GOAL Miles around the country in one of the charity's most important fundraising efforts.
When the mile was covered, Gerry Weldon, one of the organisers of the event, gathered the cash to send it off to GOAL in support of its great work all over the developed world.
Gerry is from Rush and is a member of Skerries Rugby Club and has been involved in the Skerries GOAL Mile since its inception.
The organisers were once again, delighted to see so many people turn out for the festive run and GOAL will put the money raised by the runners' efforts to good use.
GOAL Miles are held over the festive holidays in cities, towns and villages all over the country and are a major source of the charity's funding each year. As well as raising money for GOAL the events help to maintain the charity's links with the world of sport and prove a useful way for participants to walk off the Christmas or new year dinner.
Over the past three decades, the GOAL Mile has grown to become one of Ireland's most popular annual fundraisers.
The GOAL Mile was established in 1982 when GOAL's late chairperson and international athlete, Noel Carroll, came up with the idea to encourage people to run a mile at The Phoenix Park on Christmas morning for GOAL.
Much to everyone's delight, more than 250 people turned up. The event transferred to Belfield, UCD the following year and the flagship GOAL Mile was held there for the next 28 years.
The Mile has also spread to other locations throughout the country and overseas to the UK and the US.
It has become an integral part of Christmas for participating families and individuals who want to support GOAL's work on behalf of the poorest of the poor.