My involvement in Gym Jam came about through training at ACLAÍ, the gym that will host the event. One day, myself and Ainle (owner of ACLAÍ) were training when the topic of having a party in the gym came up and I looked around the room and was able to instantly visualise it. We decided it would be a great idea to have a party there as a fundraiser for anyone we knew who needed it and shortly after, one of the coaches at ACLAÍ ended up qualifying for the Wheelchair Rugby World Championships in Sydney and couldn’t get funding, so that was all we needed to get going. We put it all together and raised over €5,000 for him.
This year we are fundraising for the Palestine Community Gym project and have a goal of €30,000 to raise overall which we hope to make a sizeable dent in with the Gym Jam.
Ainle went to Palestine twice last year to run the half marathon and also to volunteer in the refugee camps in Bethlehem, mainly the Aida Refugee Camp. He forged some friendships with people in the camp and was shocked at the conditions that the residents there were subjected to due to the military occupation. They test new forms of tear gas in the refugee camp which obviously causes the residents great stress and health problems.
They are also stuck in a containment camp that was built in the 50s and has had little to no work done on it since so the facilities are inadequate in trying to achieve a standard level of health.
When he came back, he relayed what he had witnessed there and told me about a plan he had to build a gym in the small but vital community centre in the middle of the camp. I was inspired and we set about getting this project off the ground. For anyone interested, info on both the event and the project is on Facebook.
Rocketman and My Goodness get the lunch prize. I always feel amazing after I eat there and it’s down to their exceptional standards in sourcing quality local produce.
When I can, I’ll head to one of the farmers’ markets in the city and eat there as there are some incredible producers around the county.
For a special meal, I am huge fan of Iyers on Pope’s Quay. It’s humble, but for me, it’s just such a fantastic little hidden gem, and food you don’t find anywhere else. Everything is so fresh and flavourful and really well balanced. Fireworks for the palette!
Love me a Burnt pizza too! The chefs in there are unreal. There’s so many places to eat here, it’s great!