Donegal All-Ireland winner Manus Boyle will form part of an Irish delegation that will travel to Ethiopia in the new year to educate local Ethiopian children on the importance of sport and the prevention of HIV/Aids.
‘Playing for Life’, the GAA’s Charity of the Year 2011, is gearing up for its GAA ‘Heroes to Ethiopia’ Trip which will take place in January. Players and volunteers along with members of the local community will construct a sustainable sports facility which will serve as a focal point for further community development in Ethiopia.
As well as Killybegs native Boyle, Brian Whelahan from Offaly, John Lynch of Tyrone and Meah’s Jamie Queeney and a number of other all-stars alongside volunteers will bring together the two communities, Ireland and Ethiopia. While the two countries may seem worlds apart, there is an uncanny similarity – a passion for hurling! In Ethiopia, a similar game is played with a wooden hurl-like stick and a ball, called ‘Karsa’. The Irish GAA players and the Ethiopian Karsa team will challenge each other to what is bound to be a thrilling hurling match on Ethiopian soil.
‘Playing for Life’ was established by RTE Sports Presenter, Tracy Piggott, who has worked in Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi since 2005. The charity’s work focuses on self-development by providing education facilities, skills training and HIV/Aids awareness through sport.
Tracy Piggott, founder of ‘Playing for Life’, commented: “As a team, we are extremely honoured, proud and pleased to have been named the GAA’s charity of the year. Over the years, we have had tremendous support from the GAA community throughout the country. On both a national and international level, Playing for Life’s success is a tribute to the support and sponsorship it receives, we are so thankful to the GAA for providing us with a platform this year to ensure that this success continues.”
Speaking on the relationship between Playing for Life and the GAA, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana, “I am pleased to see so many GAA faces involved – both past and present players among them. The efforts of Playing for Life help to benefit and improve the fortunes and quality of life for many people that are not as well off as Irish people.”
Legendary Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin said: “We all see these awful sights of the third world on our televisions, we can change the channels at home but when you sit two feet away from a child dying of HIV, you can’t get that picture out of your head.”
Interested in joining some of Ireland’s top GAA Heroes, both past and present, on this charity trip of a life time? Log onto www.playingforlife.ie or email firstname.lastname@example.org For further information please contact email@example.com or call the charity office on (045) 482 479.