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Running for sick children

Declan O’Keeffe, Head of Communications at Clongowes Wood College SJ in County Kildare, reports on the students’ latest fundraising activities for Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

The first ever Clongowes’ 5km Fun Run was held at Clongowes Wood College on Saturday 23 March at 11.30am. The morning was bright and sunny as several hundred athletes of all levels (as well as those out for a brisk stroll through the grounds) enjoyed the varied course that included tarmac, forest track and grass and brought the athletes through the beautiful grounds of the 200 year old boarding school.

Even regular visitors to Clongowes discovered parts of the grounds that they hadn’t seen before, as the track wound through the trees, across The Pale, into the historic 19th Century Pleasure Grounds and around the picturesque rugby and cricket fields and the 18th Century Formal Walled Garden.

The event was part of the Transition Year Duck Push, which raises funds for medical equipment for Crumlin Children’s Hospital. This project, which is in its 26th year, has raised over €2m for medical equipment to date and all monies raised on Saturday went towards the purchase of equipment for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin.

The students at Clongowes first started pushing ducks along the 200km route from Dublin to Limerick in 1994. Equipment purchased from the fundraising has included portable ultra sound machines, an Ocular Coherence Tomography Machine for the Eye Department, a Getinge Autoclave for the Microbiology Laboratory and a Sepak Tissue Processor to help children who need bone marrow transplants.

Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital provides care for some of Ireland’s sickest children and taking part in the Duck Push is an essential part of the Transition Year programme in Clongowes and the culmination of a year’s hard work. Before pushing the ducks across the country the students will already have raised money through a variety of activities ranging from mini companies and pop up cafes to coffee mornings, barbecues and a highly successful Golf Classic in the K Club.