During Lockdown, many clubs undertook distance challenges and St Mary’s Ahoghill joined the band wagon, only their challenge was a little bigger and came about as lockdown had started to ease, which made things a bit more challenging!
Auckland was the ideal dream destination as it’s a lengthy 18000km away and currently where dual player Ronan Graham is living on a year out.
The challenge started on June 6th with the target ‘arrival’ date of July 20th which at the time was the date given for return to Gaelic Games’ activities. However as with everything during this pandemic, situations changed rapidly, lockdown easing came forward as did the return to trainings and matches but instead of losing momentum with the challenge, club members of all ages rallied to get the 18000km done on time.
Ahoghill to Auckland not only brought club members together at a time when everyone was apart but was also a fundraiser for 3 charities: Trocaire, St Vincent de Paul and Action Mental Health
Club members, their friends and families donated generously and to date £1800 has been raised with money still coming in!
This was big challenge for a small club and they arrived ahead of schedule on Friday 17th July smashing the 18000km by a few hundred more.
Walkers, cyclists, runners, even rowers clocked up distances and sent in pictures of smiles for miles bringing the club together again even before they could get back to the pitches.
Well done to all involved and now we can start to get back to our games, ensuring we do so safely so we can continue enjoying them!
These are the people featured in the above photographs who made the journey from Ahoghill to Auckland
Gerard McFall and Bernard Graham
Neeson girls walked from Cargin to Cloney
Claire McMahon and faithful friend Mylo ran over 100km for the challenge
Dermot & Bernie cycle on virtual journey to son Ronan in Auckland
Dougan girls having fun walking for the challenge
Dominic Neeson and family cycle
Graham family pelaton in cycled the hills of Killarney
PJ OConnell and family
Aoibhe Townsend sporting er camogie jersey and taking her 1st steps
Pic Some more of Owen Neeson Snr’s grandkids
Daire and Aine McErlain
At The Finish Line – Ronan Graham in Auckland