FIVE years ago a west Cork club undertook a heart screening session for their players and they’ve plans for another this season.
Adrigole, a long-established club, currently operating at intermediate A level, is set under the Caha mountains and looking across Bantry Harbour, in the picturesque Beara Peninsula.
It’s an idyllic setting for locals participating in a 24-hour exercise marathon over the Easter weekend, starting at 11am tomorrow and concluding at the same time on Easter Sunday.
People can do any form of exercise, walk, run, cycle, swim anywhere within the parish or anywhere in Ireland or abroad while adhering to government guidelines.
Club officials plan to have someone on the walkway around the GAA field during the 24 hour period.
It’s to acknowledge people who willingly spent their time, day and night in the field and helped to provide facilities like the floodlit pitch and pathway.
Proceeds raised will go towards providing a heart screening session within the club and also to the players’ fund.
An online donation system is being set up to allow people to donate online-Adrigole GAA Heart
Screening Fundraiser | Fundraising Event Ireland (idonate.ie).
“The players first did this in 2016 and it was significant because there was one case identified,” said county PRO Joe Blake, a club member.
“It’s very important for everyone involved in the club, but especially the players, to look after both their physical and mental health.
“The session involves the players being screened by a medical expert, who examines their hearts to determine how they are functioning.
“Last year we did a fund raiser for Marymount Hospice with another walk, but this year we decided to look after our own.
“We want to make sure the players, who give their time freely and travel long distances for matches and training, will be looked after.”
The exercise fund-raiser is expected to attract different families and groups doing it within their 5km radius as well as members of the intermediate football team, who will be on the night-time shift.
The club developed a walkway around the perimeter of the pitch last year which measures roughly 450 metres and is floodlit on a couple of nights during the winter to allow for safe walks.
“If you do just over 11 laps of the pitch you do your 5km and it’s proving very popular, particularly in the winter, and again at the weekends,” Blake added.
“It can be dangerous walking on the main roads at certain times and this allows people from the same households to head out together.”
Adrigole installed floodlights in 2020 and were switched on at the start of autumn, but the club only managed to get a couple of games and a few training sessions in before lockdown.
The first game was an U16 west Cork match involving Caha Og against Tadhg MacCarthaigs. Caha Og is an amalgamation of Adrigole and Glengarriffe at under-age level.
They are the first set of playing lights in the Beara peninsula and they are the only lights west of Caheragh, the home of Tadhg McCarthaighs, which covers a big area.
“There was a lot of voluntary work went into digging the foundations and pouring them before the main contractor came in.
“The lights will prove very beneficial to all club members, but especially the children of the area, when normal life returns.
“There has been no official switching of for obvious reasons, but it will be done in what will be a fitting occasion for all involved.”
Like all clubs, Adrigole are waiting the green light to return to collective training ahead of a new season in which they will be competing in divisioin 5 of the county league and the intermediate A championship.
They’ve a very young panel who will benefit from playing the likes of Kilshannig, Kildorrery, Glanmire and St Nick’s.
The 2020 campaign had only just started, when it was called off, while in the new-look championship, Adrigole played three games defeating Mayfield and losing to Mitchelstown and Glanworth.
Now, it’s a matter of playing the waiting game and getting ready for the start of a unique summer season.
Anyone wishing to donate can do so online at www.idonate.ie/adrigolegaaheartscreeningfundraiser