CLUB Faithful, the Offaly GAA Supporters Club, have launched their second annual Grand Canal Walk – a big fundraiser that will collect money for the preparation of Offaly's inter-county teams as well as the Oncology Unit at Tullamore Hospital.
Last year's inaugural event proved to be a resounding success and this year's one will take place on Saturday, October 26 with walkers and runners having the option of completing distances up to 25 kilometres from O'Connor Park out along the canal to the far side of Ballycommon.
Last year, a chque for €10,000 was presented to Crumlin Children's Hospital from the walk and Club Faithful chairman Padraig Egan told a launch last week that they hope to match or better that figure this year.
The launch in Faithful Fields, Kilcormac was attended by senior county football and hurling managers, John Maughan and Michael Fennelly along with some of their players and county ladies footballers and camogie stars.
Mr Egan stated that 90 players have registered for the walk this year and he thanked them for making the time for it. “It costs money top run teams and facilities,” he said, adding that it gives ordinary people a chance to get involved and donate their fiver or tenner.
Chairman of the Offaly GAA County Board, Tommy Byrne said it turned out to be a serious fundaiser last year and he hoped this year will be even more successful. He pointed out that they will be spending more money on inter-county teams next year at every level as they provide additional services.
“In fairness, players came and said they wanted to help raise funds. It is good from a county point of view that everyone is doing a little bit,” Mr Byrne said, adding that they wanted to spread the net as far as possible with support for the walk. “Every year we need more money for county teams. We need this to be successful to pay for this extra stuff. There is additions to all back room teams this year,” he concluded.
Participants can start the walk anytime from 8am on October 26 and they are asked to register online on the Club Faithful website where they can create a profile that they can share with friends and family to gather sponsorship while people can all support one of the registered walkers.
Sponsors who give €`100 or more will be added to a sponsors wall which will be hung in Bord na Mona O'Connor pARK.
To donate, register or sponsor go to www.grandcanalwalk.ie or contact Katie on 087 704 3681 or Padraig on 087 381 4886.