Sanctuary Runners came together to run in solidarity at Lee’s Road last Sunday for the very first Refugee Week Fun Run-Midwest. With over 70 attendees of all ages and abilities from across Clare, the midwest, and the world, it was a gathering of warmth, welcomes and respect.
The event, organised by Sanctuary Runners with the collaboration and support of the SICAP program within Clare Local Development Company, Clare Immigrant Support Centre, Clare Sports Partnership, Clare Volunteer Centre and attended by An Garda Siochana, brought people from all corners of the county to run/ walk/ jog as one. All new runners/ walkers/ joggers received one of the iconic Sanctuary Runners blue t-shirts and completed up to 5km through the beautiful surrounds of John O’Sullivan Park.
Following their endeavours, attendees gathered for tea, chats and refreshments, with goodie bags for all the children. Everyone received a Certificate of Participation to mark their part in this special first for the area.
Graham Clifford, founder and CEO of Sanctuary Runners spoke to all attendees in advance of the run: “The reason for Sanctuary Runners is to bring people together, wherever they are from, to run as one, united in our blue t shirts, sharing this experience. It is particularly special to be in Clare to mark this event and enjoy the warmth of the atmosphere created by our volunteers and everyone who has come together here today.”
With the rain staying away on the day, people basked not just in the sunshine at Lee’s Road, but also in the warmth of new connections and friendships, feeling connected to a bigger community, feeling part of a bigger movement and feeling seen and recognised for their worth and contribution.
Sanctuary Runners have recently appointed Jennifer O’Brien as the Regional Development Officer for the Midwest. With a dedicated staff member in the area Sanctuary Runners plan to continue their positive relationships, with supports and services in Clare and across the midwest to further community integration and continue sharing the values of solidarity, friendship and respect.
Sanctuary Runners Ennis meet regularly at the Fairgreen/ Tim Smyth Park. Anyone interested in joining Sanctuary Runners can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Sanctuary Runners at https://sanctuaryrunners.ie/