Donegal Ladies star Niamh Carr will be able to test out her fitness levels when she takes part in Milford GAA’s ’20K in 2020′ walk this weekend.
The Milford club are hosting a fundraiser which takes place in three stages and walkers will set off from the pier in Rathmullan at 12pm this Sunday, and walk to Ray Community Centre, before proceeding to Gamble’s Square, Ramelton and finishing at the Milford GAA clubhouse.
Monies raised will go towards Ramelton Care of the Aged, Milford Care of the Aged, and St Vincent De Paul Rathmullan Resource Centre.
The challenge shouldn’t be too testing for Carr who is renowned for her mobility and high fitness levels.
She would have expected to be in the middle of Donegal’s championship campaign right now, but that has been put on ice until later in the year.
However, that hasn’t stopped her training on our own over the past three months.
“I’ve been lucky enough that I have been able to do a good bit of training by myself,” said the 24-year-old.
“I suppose I was a bit naive at the start and I thought this would only last a few weeks so I came straight down home to make sure I would be about for training, and I didn’t think there wouldn’t be any training on.
“I have been home since that, and I’m lucky because there is much more space here than in Dublin.
“There is a green area across from my house where I can do my running, and we have a rowing machine, and a spinning bike, and a few weights at home too which are a good help.
“To be fair to the management team, they have been very understanding.
“We were training hard at the start, and then when we went into May and there was talk that there might not be any football, it was hard to stay motivated.
“So they gave us a few weeks off, but now that it looks like we might have some action, we have started to build up again
“Hopefully it won’t be long before we’re back playing club and county matches.”
Unlike the men’s game, there is clarity on what will happen with the Ladies National Football League and it will not be finished this year.
However, what format the championship takes is a different matter and Carr expects there will be a new structure to help with the shorter timeframe.
“The league has been called off and we’re waiting on the LGFA to say what way the championship will go now.
“Club is back at the end of July, and there will be ten or 11 weeks before the county starts up again.
“We were scheduled to take on Tyrone in a Preliminary game in the middle of May but we don’t know what is going to happen with that really.
“There was supposed to be a round-robin after the Ulster Championship, and that was to give us more games.
“But I don’t know if they will be able to use that structure this year if they don’t have the same time. I can’t see it.
“It’s hard to know what will happen, but hopefully there will be a plan released in the coming weeks.”
Carr is a newly qualified secondary school teacher and was teaching Business Studies, Geography, and LCVP this year at Newpark Comprehensive in Blackrock.
She has 16 Leaving Cert Business students who she needs to give predicted grades to, and that isn’t something she could have envisaged when the academic year started.
“The way it worked with my school was that we still did work during the time that you would normally have had classes.
“So we might have had a zoom class or I would have sent a video or sent out work.
“Over the last few weeks, we have been looking at the Leaving Cert predicated grades, and we have been trying to finalise those over the last week or so.
“It has been a long process and you just had to take it as professionally as possible.
“We took a common approach to everyone and looked at their different results, and worked out how we thought they would get on in the exam.
“You just couldn’t worry about other factors like what mark the students might have needed for a course. You just had to do what you had to do.”
There may not be any games for a little while yet, but Carr will still play her part for Milford GAA this Sunday as she participates in the ’20k in 2020′ which raises funds for Ramelton Care of the Aged, Milford Care of the Aged, and St Vincent De Paul Rathmullan Resource Centre.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, all of the three charities have been working hard to protect the elderly from the loneliness and isolation of Covid-19. For many years, Milford Care of the Aged has organised day trips for members and works hard to ensure senior members of the community feel safe in their homes, installing home alone alarm systems in many houses around Milford.
During the pandemic, committee members have been watching over people living alone, running errands for them when they have no one else.
In Rathmullan, the St Joseph’s SVP Special Works runs the Ozanam Social Activity Centre, which provides an opportunity for senior residents in the town to come together and socialise, meet other people and form new friendships, while Ramelton Care of the Aged works with local residents in the town to protect and look after senior members of the community.
All proceeds raised from the walk will be shared equally among the three local charities.
All donations are graciously accepted and can be made online through the Clubforce App, by searching CLG Baile na nGalloglach, by Revolut to 086 817 9779 and by PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the Go Fund Me page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/20-in-20-for-senior-citizens.
On the day, donation buckets will also be available at water stations in Milford, Ramelton, Ray and Rathmullan.
“My club Milford have come up with an initiative which will see people walk the three towns – Milford, Ramelton and Rathmullan – where we take our members from.
“People don’t have to walk the full thing, but a lot of people have been walking and staying active over the last few months and hopefully they will come out.
“The club try to incorporate all three towns in everything they do, and it’s great that we will be able to raise money for Milford Care of the Aged, Ramelton Care of the Aged, and St Vincent de Paul Rathmullan Resource Centre.
“It’s a good chance for us to do our bit to help the elderly in the community.
“It will also be nice to see our clubmates again because with the lockdown we haven’t been able to meet up, so it will be great to see everyone again on Sunday.”
Carr was coy on whether or not she will complete the full course when asked, but she was adamant that the running can wait for a wee bit longer.
“There’s a bit of chat from some of the girls that they might run it, but I think I’ll stick to the walk. There will be plenty of running over the next few months.
“I’ll take it as a nice leisurely walk and it would be nice to see all the local area again because we haven’t seen too much of it over the last couple of months.
“Hopefully all our players and supporters and members, and people in the towns will come out and show their support for the local charities on Sunday.”