It will be “From Thomond to Tallaght” for the players of Tallaght Rugby Football Club, who are running nearly 200km in a relay run from Thomond Park in Limerick all the way home to the Tallaght RFC Headquarter in the name of raising money and awareness for charity.
The event, which begins at the home of Munster Rugby, Thomond Park, at midday on Saturday 22nd August, is scheduled to take around 24 hours to complete with the final runners aiming to finish at around noon on Sunday 23rd August in Firhourse, Tallaght.
All funds raised through the relay event will be given to the “Aware” charity, which is an organisation developed in response to the clear need for information, understanding and support, both for individuals who had a diagnosis of depression or bipolar as well as family members supporting a loved one.
For Tallaght RFC Chairman, Luke Tyrell, assisting “Aware” has been an important aspiration ever since meeting former Munster great and Irish international rugby player, Alan Quinlan.
“Raising money for Aware has been on my mind for the last couple of years which stems from a meeting I had with Alan Quinlan about four or five years ago and just hearing the discussion I had with Alan, the idea came into my head.
At the time, Alan was doing great work with Aware. He was the Aware ambassador and he was very open and inspirational about his own journey and mental health issues. So thats why we’re doing this.”
“Running from Lansdowne Road to Tallaght is not as much of a challenge”
Tyrell also gave his reasoning for choosing to begin the relay from Thomond Park.
“Selecting Thomond Park was really because it’s a very iconic rugby venue and again Alan’s connection with Thomond Park and Munster Rugby. Logiistically it’s a challenge. Running from Lansdowne Road to Tallaght is not as much of a challenge because it is only about 10kms. But running from Thomond Park to Tallaght which is just short of 200km, is much more of a challenge.”
40 club players will complete the run at different intervals, and the logistics for the event have had to be well planned according to Tyrell.
“All the runners will run in approximately 5km relays. So we have 10 vehicles, and each vehicle will contain four runners. We’ll start in Thomond Park with four runners, so each car will basically cover about 20km each. They’ll run their 5km relay with the rugby ball and so we’ll cover the 200km that way.”
“From Thomond to Tallaght” is another example of Tallaght RFC showing a consciousness for helping their community, as they also have been active in helping during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as other causes.
“We´re very much engrained in the community”
Tyrell says about Tallaght RFC: “We’re a grassroots rugby club with good ties to the community. Recently we raised money to buy toiletries and shower gels amongst other things for the staff of the Tallaght hospital because of the Covid-19 crisis and the work hours that they were doing. We’ve done litter clean-ups of the area and that sort of stuff too. We’re very much engrained in the community.”
Furthermore, Tyrell is expecting this fundraising effort not to be just a one-off.
“We have a number of players who have had various family issues or family members with medical issues or needs, and we’ve raised money for those charities or individuals in the past and I just think it is engrained in the DNA of Tallaght rugby club to act in that manner. So I absolutely expect that there will be future charity events and fundraising.”