Conquering fear of heights by soaring through the sky at 100 miles per hour

Would you be brave enough to take part in the fastest zip line in the world? We talk to two Cork women who are doing just that for the ISPCC
Conquering fear of heights by soaring through the sky at 100 miles per hour
Zip World in Snowdonia.

SENIOR All-Ireland medal-winner with the Cork camogie team, Leah Weste, is limbering up for a courageous challenge — and calling on adventure enthusiasts in Cork to join her.

This April, despite her fear of heights, she and a friend will fly! The Ballincollig sports star, along with her friend and fellow sports fanatic Sinead O’Callaghan, will soar through the skies at speeds in excess of 100mph when they take on the fastest zip line in the world in aid of national child protection charity, the ISPCC.

The charity, which provides services including Childline, is presenting supporters with an exhilarating opportunity to hurtle over scenic Snowdonia, Wales, by taking part in Zip World Velocity on Saturday, April 21.

The prospect of a day trip with a difference has already piqued the interest of many with a thirst for adventure — including Ms Weste and Ms O’Callaghan, who are both teachers, friends and sports fans.

Leah Weste said: “It was a no-brainer for us to sign up for the ISPCC Zipline Challenge as we are adrenaline junkies and teachers who are passionate about the rights and welfare of children worldwide. With this event, we have an opportunity to experience the world’s fastest zip line, while also raising funds and awareness for an amazing organisation.

Leah Weste.
Leah Weste.

“I am a primary school teacher in Crosshaven and in my spare time I am a GAA and gymnastics coach to children of different ages. Working with young children every day opens my eyes to how vulnerable children can be.

“I also play on the Ballincollig and Cork camogie teams and love facing new challenges. This is the first time I have been involved in fundraising for a charity and I am very excited to be doing it with the ISPCC.

“We are most looking forward to raising awareness of the work it does with people in our area and amongst our friends and family. We would like to help spread the facts and make people more aware of the crisis situations some children find themselves in and show people that they can do so much more to help.

“We hope to inspire others to donate and do their bit to make a difference, especially for vulnerable children in Ireland.”

Sinead said: “We have no greater passion in life than to contribute to the organisations and agencies such as the ISPCC, that strive to ensure that the rights of all children are upheld and that all children receive the love and support they so graciously deserve.

“I have worked with a wide range of children, therefore I am aware of some of the challenges children may face and I want to ensure that the ISPCC is there as an organisation to stand up for the rights of children in Ireland.

“In the past, I have participated in cycles, half-marathons, overseas volunteering programmes and regular fundraising activities. Although this zip line is a different type of activity, the ethos remains the same: the funds and our efforts will be for the benefit of children.”

Sinead O'Callaghan.
Sinead O'Callaghan.

Ms Weste and Ms O’Callaghan will join participants travelling by ferry to Holyhead on the day, before being taken by coach to begin their adventures. After completing Little Zipper, a line to build confidence, the participants will ascend Penrhyn Quarry towards the Big Top of Velocity.

Participants on the day will also have the opportunity to experience the thrilling Zip World Forest Coaster set in the idyllic Conwy Valley.

Those taking part are asked for a deposit of €150 to secure their place on the trip and to fundraise €500 in support of the ISPCC’s work. The ISPCC delivers innovative child-centered services, including Childline, in a number of locations throughout Ireland. As Ireland’s only 24-hour listening service for children and young people, Childline provides free, confidential and non-judgmental support.

With excitement mounting for this delightfully daring day, those who would like to join Leah Weste and Sinead O’Callaghan in seizing this opportunity are encouraged to register their interest early to secure their place on the trip. For more information and to register interest, see www.ispcc.ie/get- involved/upcoming-events/readytofly- zipline-challenge- in-aid- of-ispcc- childline/16331 or ispcc.ie.

ABOUT THE ISPCC

The ISPCC (Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) is the national child protection charity.

The ISPCC delivers innovative child-centred services in a number of locations throughout Ireland. Childline is Ireland’s only 24-hour listening service for children and young people. It is free, confidential and non-judgmental, providing support to children across Ireland.

The ISPCC Support Line provides a confidential listening service, offering information, advice and emotional support to all members of the public who contact us, on any issue in relation to child protection and welfare.

The ISPCC Mentoring Programme provides mentoring services to parents and young people. The programme aims to create a mentoring relationship between a young person or a parent and a trained adult volunteer, through which support can be provided and new opportunities for growth explored.

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