The 8th Annual Kilkenny Mini Marathon, founded by the Carers Association, will be launched this evening in The Aspect at 6pm.
All sponsors, committee and supporters are invited to attend. The event is an integral part of the Smithwicks Road Race series, hosted by Paddy Neary and Kilkenny Road Runners. This year the event will begin at the new time of noon, from the Aspect Hotel car park.
The event is an important part of a fundraising calendar for all local and some national charities. Over €200,000 has been raised through the event in the last five years. “Family carers are the backbone of community care in this country and we are asking everyone to join us, raise some sponsorship, and help to support those in need in our community”, said Pat Grogan, Area Manager for The Carers Association in Kilkenny and Carlow.
Mr Grogan highlighted the fact that carers are often confined to their homes, looking after loved ones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are over 5,000 family carers in Kilkenny/Carlow area, providing close to 120,000 hours of care each week. The local resource centre provides information and advice for carers, together with practical in-home respite hours, to give carers a much needed break from their caring roles and also provide training courses for carers in areas such as manual and patient handling, and practical caring skills.
“We also support the local Arch Club, which we founded in partnership with a support group of parents of children with special needs. This is a fantastic and important social outlet for the children”, said Pat. The Arch Club Kilkenny is still in its infancy, but is proving very successful. “We are actively seeking suitable volunteers for the club, particularly anyone with child-care training”, said Pat. The Club is run in the Father McGrath Centre by parents and committed volunteers.
Pat also offered to attend employee meetings/gatherings to let people know about the services being provided by The Carers Association, and the importance of their support and fun-raising efforts. There are many people struggling to make ends meet, holding down full-time employment, and providing care for a loved one at home. “We can help by offering advice to people in those circumstances, helping the employee and the employer to understand how both can support each other”, said Pat.
The mini marathon will be held on the May Bank Holiday Monday at noon. The 10km run will start and finish at Aspect Hotel Kilkenny and is open to everyone.Roger Thomas of the Irish Association of Physical Therapists will provide pre and post event massage, on a first come first served basis to walkers and runners on the day, at Aspect Holtel.
Registration forms and sponsorship cards are available by phoning The Carers Association on 056-7721424 or www.carersireland.com and will also be available in the Kilkenny People. Registration costs €12 and all forms must be returned to The Carers Association office, Priors Orchard, Johns Quay, Kilkenny. Participants can choose to support the Carers Association or a charity of their choice.