MEMBERS of Omagh Hockey Club have pledged to run a 5K every day for the month of May to raise much needed funds in assisting local healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent weeks club officials and players have been playing a key role in helping the local community during the escalating Covid-19 outbreak and as part of that drive the club is embarking on a major fund-raiser next month.
Club stalwart Iris Nelson said club coach Lyndsey McCay came up with the idea of running 5K every day for a full month and added that club members were already in training for the fund-raising push.
“We are just trying to give a wee bit of something back,” said Iris.
“You see it all around you, everybody is doing something to help and raise funds. Look at Captain Tom, what he has done is phenomenal.
“I suppose we are taking inspiration from what is going on all around us. Up to this point we have been doing a few bits and bobs. I recently emailed the Western Trust seeing what they needed for patients. So we have delivered a few boxes to them made up of toiletries, that sort of thing.
“We have also being working with the Spar on the Hospital Road helping with home deliveries. We have a rota system in place and someone is going in one day a week to assist with that. This is the next thing in that we are trying to raise funds.
“I think there are about 35 players including the firsts, seconds and the veterans who have pledged to do a 5K every day in the month of May for the Western Trust.”
Much of the thinking around the fund-raising effort centred on the fact that quite a number of club members are frontline NHS staff while many more are considered key workers.
Iris’s sister Anne Young is just one of number of nurses and trainee nurses in the club, Georgia Stewart and Kathryn Graham are both doctors while a few other players are carers. Others are doing their bit within the teaching profession, Royal Mail and retail sector.
Having that connection was very much part of the motivation according to Iris.
“We have quite a few players involved in the battle against the pandemic, quite a connection with the Western Trust,” she continued.
“We are just trying to do our wee bit to help in any way and I suppose the added incentive is that we are helping team-mates on the frontline.
“Because our competitive season has been cut short, for the firsts and seconds in particular, we all wanted to come together to do some good.
“We have set up a Go Fund page to raise awareness of what we are planning to do as much as anything else and already people are pledging money. It’s overwhelming to see that.
“Once we get started we will be posting selfies and what have you and hopefully that will encourage people to boost the coffers.
“We wanted to keep it local so that’s why the money is going to the Western Trust.
“Of course there is a spin-off as well. It’s another way players can maintain their fitness levels in supporting a worthwhile cause. And not forgetting the added bonus of improving mental health,” she added.
• People can donate by going onto the club’s Facebook page and clicking on the following link, https://gf.me/u/xxu9md