Rob Heffernan donates to initiative aiming to bring people in direct provision together through sport

Rob Heffernan donates to initiative aiming to bring people in direct provision together through sport
Five time Olympian Rob Hefferran with Sanctuary Runner Yolanda Mhene at the Mardyke, photographed during a training session on Sunday in preparation for the Cork City Marathon on June 2nd 2019. Photo: Clare Keogh.

Former World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist Rob Heffernan has donated running gear to an initiative that aims to bring together those living in direct provision with the wider Irish community through sport.

The non-profit running group Sanctuary Runners, established in February 2018, is already operating in eight locations around the country. It is planning to have a team of 300, including 75 people living in direct provision centres, participating in this year's Cork City Marathon.

The group has been helped out by a significant donation from Rob and his wife Marian, also a former athlete and coach. The Heffernans presented a collection of running gear, including items of clothing used during their time representing Ireland on the world stage.

"I’m delighted to link up with the Sanctuary Runners again. Last year I took a training session with the team as they prepared for the Cork City Marathon. I met wonderful people coming together in solidarity,” Rob said.

Now I have given some of the running gear I’ve amassed over the years to the Sanctuary Runners and I know it will be of use to the runners in direct provision.

"Throughout my professional career, I met with people from across the globe and was always treated with decency and respect. We, as Irish people, should always treat others with that same warmth."

Graham Clifford, founder of the Sanctuary Runners, thanked the Heffernans for their donation.

"For so many in direct provision, hope, motivation and focus can disappear and isolation and depression can set in.

The Sanctuary Runners aim to combat that, to put our arms around the shoulders of our friends in direct provision and show that we are all one, all equal.

"The pillars of what we do are solidarity, friendship and respect," Mr Clifford said.

The Sanctuary Runners are actively looking for people to join us for this year’s Cork City Marathon. Runners can partake in the full or half marathon or as part of a relay team.

And afterwards, the Sanctuary Runners will hold a street party in the city centre.

[readmore][/readmore]


More in this Section

Fairhill man bound to peace and fined for assaulting neighbourFairhill man bound to peace and fined for assaulting neighbour

10 charges brought against teenager after March collision that injured Cork toddler10 charges brought against teenager after March collision that injured Cork toddler

€9.4m development of new Public Services Card to be completed in January€9.4m development of new Public Services Card to be completed in January

Justice Minister calls for direct provision centre protesters to 'step back'Justice Minister calls for direct provision centre protesters to 'step back'


Lifestyle

Make-up artist Terry Barber reveals the secret to pulling off the bold lip look.This is how to make black lipstick work in real life, according to a catwalk make-up pro

Off to the Japan? After a trip to Tokyo, Ella Walker outlines the best things to eat between matches.These are the dishes to try if you’re going to Tokyo for the Rugby World Cup

It still surprises me as I am achingly private and do not enjoy being at the centre of attention.This Much I Know: Actor Aislin McGuckin

Bride Geraldine O’Donovan felt as wonderful as she looked on her big day — knowing she was supporting a cause close to her heart as she donned her wedding gown.Wedding on the Week: Supporting a cause close to their hearts

More From The Irish Examiner