The Sanctuary Runners are calling on people in towns across Roscommon to come together to form new running, jogging, and walking groups.
Launching their new ‘Side-By-Side’ programme last week, the solidarity-through-sport initiative, founded in Cork in 2018, says it hopes to build groups in 50 new towns across the country.
Focusing on community integration and bringing people together to the benefit of all, the initiative will focus on areas to which Ukrainian and other people have moved in recent months and years.
Supported by the ‘Ireland for Ukraine Fund’, and ‘the Sunflower Foundation Fund’, both managed by the Community Foundation for Ireland (CFI), as well as support from the CFI itself and the One Foundation the new ‘Side by Side Programme’ will build on the work of the Sanctuary Runners which has attracted the support of almost 10,000 runners, joggers and walkers over the years – with almost a quarter of those being people who either are, or were, living in Direct Provision.
Ailís McSweeney, Ireland Lead Manager with Sanctuary Runners said: “We’ve already received great support from the people of Roscommon for our work. This new programme will seek to build groups in towns to which people have moved in more recent times – people from Ukraine and also those from other countries.
“We’ve seen over the years how running or walking shoulder-to-shoulder on one team can be such a vital tool for community integration, for welcoming people who might be afraid, isolated and worried – and also for building stronger communities. Also, it’s lots of fun and good for everyone’s health”.