Cork City players are on the run to raise funds for Penny Dinners

Cork City players are on the run to raise funds for Penny Dinners
Cork City's Nadine Seward off Limerick's Cara Griffin in action at Knockgriffin Park last season. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CORK CITY WFC are putting their training to good use as the players of the Senior Women’s, U17s and Amputee teams have joined forces to raise funds for Cork Penny Dinners.

On Saturday, the players and staff of the above mentioned teams will aim to run 15 combined marathons.

Two players Becky Cassin and Éabha O’Mahony will both be running full marathons and the other 13 marathons will be run by groups of players and staff who are each running different legs of a marathon.

Cork Penny Dinners is one of Cork’s oldest caring charitable organisations. They currently serve up to 2,000 freshly-made meals per week at their premises. Their aims are simple, to help all who struggle and those in need.

Senior women’s Manager Ronan Collins is looking forward to the event, and he hopes they can raise much needed funds for the local organisation.

“It’s a fabulous idea and a very worthwhile cause,” said Collins.

“The idea was Éabha O’Mahony’s brain child. Earlier in the lockdown she ran a half marathon and she wanted to test herself by training towards running a full marathon during the break in football.

Cork City's Eabha O'Mahony battling with Limerick's Anna Shine. Picture: David Keane.
Cork City's Eabha O'Mahony battling with Limerick's Anna Shine. Picture: David Keane.

“She floated the idea of fundraising on behalf of the club and getting all the squad involved. The idea then grew to include the U17 and amputee squad and I think it is a fantastic idea.

“The club have previously worked with Cork Penny Dinners and we felt this would be a great cause to give a bit of support and help.

“Cork Penny Dinners is a free of charge service providing a meal, along with somewhere dry and warm for those in need. In the last 12 or so years since the recession it is providing 13 fold more meals per week.

“It’s a great cause that has done terrific work for the community of Cork and needs our support more than ever so it can continue to grow and develop.

“Our initial aim was to raise €2,500.

“We are already two thirds of the way there and we are hopeful that we’ll be able to break that target and also go a bit further.

“People have already shown great generosity. From a training perspective it’s given players an excellent focus.

“They have been able to set distance and time challenges for themselves to train towards.

“The players have been training very hard for the past number of months and without a game to look forward to, the players have to be credited for their motivation.

“During this break in football, the players have probably worked on more fitness rather than the football side of the game, so from that perspective, it is great to have something like a marathon to do, as it gives the players a focus and it allows them to see all their hard training pay off in the end.

“Each individual player have different abilities and we have grouped them to what we feel will suit each team.

“They will all run different distances and to be fair to them, they have all really pushed themselves aiming to run that bit further than maybe what they would have thought they would have been capable of.

“So for us, that just shows how determined the players are, and also how the extra fitness training over the past few months has really helped them.

“It’ll be a long and challenging day but we are really looking forward to it. On the day we will keep everyone updated on the progress of the 15 marathons through our social media sites.”

Senior women’s player Nadine Seward is looking forward to the event and she hopes to run 15K around her local community.

“It is a great idea, it’s for such a good cause and I’m delighted to be a part of it,” said Seward.

“We plan to do 15 marathons altogether, between the senior woman’s team, amputee team and the U17 team.

“It will definitely be a big challenge, but I’m up for it. I’m eating healthy, and training hard, so hopefully I’ll be ready for it on the 30th of May.

“There has been a lot of fitness training the last few months, and with no matches coming up, it’s nice to have an event coming up soon that you know all your hard work will be paying off. It’s also something to look forward to as well.”

Cork City Amputee player Sean Óg Murphy is another player who has worked up the miles over the past few months and he looks forward to the challenge of completing 5k on crutches.

“I’m hoping to do 5km, on crutches and doing it at home in Cullen,” said Murphy.

“It’s a big challenge for the seven of us from the squad, but we are looking forward to taking it on as a team, we are training away at home since lock down to keep ourselves fit and as match ready as possible.

“Since taking up amputee football a number of years ago it’s become a big part of my routine. “We keep in contact through the WhatsApp group but the camaraderie, the competition and the many physical and mental benefits are surely missed during lockdown.

“I am delighted to be doing this for such a worthwhile charity. The issue of homelessness has been highlighted in the media for a number of years now, as my sister works with homeless families in Cork through the good shepherd family hub (Redcliffe house) so I’m well aware of the struggles people face and we’re delighted to get involved with the marathon.

“We, as a squad are hoping to cover 45k between us. Five outfield players, our goalkeeper and manager are doing the marathon, all outfield players are going on crutches and hope to do 5km each, while our keeper Fergal and Manager Daire are hoping to do 10K.”

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