Sport

Two Na Piarsaigh men raise almost €5,000 for Pieta House

When the second lockdown came, Gearoid Synnott and William Henn decided that with their hurling campaigns finished, they would try and keep fit.

Gearoid came up with the idea to complete the Malin 2 Mizen Head challenge where people walk, run or cycle a total of 600kms.

William who is currently studying Law in UCC stated: “We chose to do it for Pieta House. It was Gearoid’s idea to do this. As he said it was his idea to keep fit over lockdown, to get out, clear the heads and go out for a run.

“When he text me I had a think and we said if were going through the hassle of doing 600kms, we may as well do it for other people. The reason we chose Pieta House is that it’s a self-harm and suicide prevention charity.”

“It kind of tied in with the social isolation that people can experience during lockdown with the long dark winter nights.”

“Part of the reason for doing the challenge was to get out for our own mental health and obviously there are people who would struggle a lot more than us and they could really use the funding so we said if we were going to do the challenge we would benefit others as well as benefitting ourselves at the same time.”

The challenge can be completed across a six-month period.

However, the Na Piarsaigh hurlers managed to achieve their goal in six weeks.

Gearoid, who is studying quantity surveying in LIT said the support himself and William have received has been much greater than they expected.

“The support has been incredible. We set a target of €600 and we thought we might struggle to hit that but we completely smashed that goal. The amount just kept going up. We would like to say a big thanks to everyone who supported us.”

Currently, the pair have raised over €4,900 which will all go to Pieta House to help them cope with the busy Christmas period.

Gearoid believes completing the challenge and exercising each evening has helped him handle studying online and the pressures this brings.

“It has been tough doing it online. It (the Malin 2 Mizen Head Challenge) has given me a reason to get out of the house and take a break from online. I am very thankful for the challenge as it got me out of the house and doing something.”

“Being in front of the laptop screen isn’t easy. Messaging people and facetiming people isn’t the same as being with them and having the craic.”

Despite studying in UCC, William is currently on work placement in Martina Murphy Solicitors in Dooradoyle.

He admits that he found the second lockdown easier to handle than Gearoid.

“I was coming out of work at 4 or 5 pm each day. I would text Gearoid to try and get him off the laptop and give him a break from that. We would go for a run or a cycle or a walk. I had a fairy normal routine during lockdown.”

“Luckily, the legal sector as an essential service, he added.”

“I found it easier than Gearoid. He would be on from 9-5 and it’s tough to hear when your friends are struggling. There is not really much that can be done about it at the moment but hopefully now with restaurants opening up and we can meet up for a meal over Christmas as opposed to talking to people through Zoom calls and Zoom quizzes.”

To donate to Pieta House click the link:

The full interview with William and Gearoid can be heard on The Week In Sport podcast, out this evening.

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