James takes on Great Ethiopian Run!

Support sought for Górta, Selp Help Africa

Athleague native, James Cooke, is preparing to take part in the Great Ethiopian Run in aid of Górta and Selp Help Africa. The run, which is in its 15th year, comprises of a 10k run/walk in Addis Ababa.

  The city is 7,500 feet above sea level and steeped in history, so James’ trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity. He explained how he got involved through his friend and Górta campaigner, Ronan Scully.

  “I was diagnosed with cancer in Galway back in 2011 and had my prostate removed in 2012. It was at this time I was speaking to Ronan Scully and told him I’d love to do something when I was able.”

  So what kind of preparation is involved in getting to Ethiopia and taking part in The Great Ethiopian Run, along with around 30,000 other people?

  “Well I’ve been training for a few months, but I suppose the big thing is the fundraising. Each competitor has to raise €3,000 in order to cover the costs of visas and travel and to raise as much money as possible for the cause.”

  The cause is of course a worthy one and helps those in need, in one of the poorest regions on Earth, to help themselves.

  Górta Fundraising Administrator, Ciara Doyle, said that over 100 Irish people would take part this year.

  “We will have about fourteen or fifteen competitors with about 150 Irish people overall. We are hoping to make around €40,000.”

  James Cooke will fly out on the 20th of November and take part in the run on Sunday the 22nd. He will also get to experience Addis Ababa and visit Górta Self Help Africa projects throughout Ethiopia in order to see the important work being done on the ground.

  Obviously, help is needed in order to raise the necessary funds and James is grateful for all donations and sponsorship so far.

  “Local people have been donating and Ronan has held table quizzes which I’ve attended. I’m still collecting and of course it all helps the many people who need it.”

  James will join thousands of other runners later this month as they take part in the biggest road race in Africa. Sponsorship cards are available from local shops and businesses in Roscommon town and Athleague, and as James said, it’s for a very worthy cause. All support for this excellent cause is much appreciated.