Donegal Sports Partnership along with sponsors Arthur McMahon from Donegal Oil Company, held the first ever to be held in Donegal, Women’s Only Multi-Sport Adventure Challenge which took place at Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre on Saturday 29th April last.
This event was aimed to encourage participation in outdoor activities for all age groups and fitness abilities, throughout County Donegal in a fun and safe way. 200+ Women registered to take part, with the majority having never done anything like this in their lives before.
“The positive energy”, “the encouragement and the co-ordination was fantastic”, was just some of the feedback received from the ladies who took part!
Since Covid and all the lockdowns we have endured over the past few years, Team Donegal Oil and Donegal Sports Partnership were approached by a large number of women who would love to participate in a fun event that would get them back out training or even just to start doing some training and also have something to look forward to participating in with their friends and work colleagues. After several discussions between Myles Sweeney of Donegal Sports Partnership, Arthur McMahon, Donegal Oil Company, Rory Kennedy. Grace Ann McGarvey and Shaun Stewart and Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre, this event was finally brought to life. Shaun Stewart, Course Director designed the route that consisted of a 5km Walk/Jog/Run, 20km Cycle and a 1km Kayak.
The event Sponsor, Arthur McMahon, Donegal Oil Company commented, “ It was just amazing to see the positivity and the energy at Gartan on Saturday 29th April, truly amazing and the support they got from our volunteers and their friends and family was amazing, some even commenting that they would love to do it again soon. We will be organising another one next year and dates will be discussed and hopefully released in the coming months. For the ladies to have raised so much collectively and each charity benefiting to the sum of €2750 each is amazing, well done to each and everyone of the ladies.”
Donegal Sports Partnership (DSP) Co-ordinator Myles Sweeney added ” Sports events which provide opportunities for women to participate are a key focus of Sport Ireland and the Donegal Sports Partnership and forms part of the the National Women in Sport strategy. We are delighted to partner with Donegal Oil Company for this event and our team are delighted to have supported as many women as possible to take part in what was a fun event at Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre.”
Every single cent raised from Registration Entry fees and donations went directly to two Donegal Women’s Charities, Donegal Women’s Centre and Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service – DWDVS. Both charities do tremendous work and provide vital services for women here in our county and they both support thousands of women in their centres each year.
Speaking on behalf of the Donegal Women’s Centre based at Port Rd, Letterkenny, Alison Egan, Interim Manager commented, “ I went to support the ladies at Gartan last April 29th and I was so impressed with the amount of women who were taking part in this event. Women of all ages and abilities and many novices to the world of Adventure racing. To have chosen our centre as one of the charities was a huge lift to us and we are so grateful to all the ladies who contributed through their registration fees and donations, thank you so much to each and everyone of you.”
Marie Hainsworth, Manager of Donegal Domestic Violence Services CLG also based in Letterkenny commented, “We provide Domestic Violence Services with a 24-hr helpline and emergency refuge accommodation as well as outreach support for women and children throughout the county of Donegal. To be chosen as a recipient of this Adventure Challenge fundraiser means so much to us all her at the centre. In addition, we have a number of programmes that offer a more creative way of working with trauma, some of which are designed specifically for children. We would like to sincerely thank Donegal Sports Partnership, Donegal Oil Company and all of the ladies who donated through their registration fees and by other means of donations. You should all be so proud of yourself for completing the challenge but also helping so many other women by providing help for us to provide services and help to them. Thanks to all the ladies who helped.”