Monday 15th May
Players who scored a new Guinness World Record for the longest Gaelic 15-a-side football match in history have been honoured in a special presentation ceremony at the Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast.
The Marathon Match raised an amazing £73,565 for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland and Michaela Foundation.
The event, in partnership with O’Neill’s International Sportswear Ltd, was held on January 7th/8th in the Tyrone GAA Garvaghey Centre. The record setting match saw players kick ball for an amazing 24 hours, 18 minutes and 51 seconds.
At the presentation last weekend, the players received their Guinness World Record medals and certificates from Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and Roisin Foster, Chief Executive of Cancer Focus NI.
Mrs Foster said: “We are delighted to come together to celebrate this magnificent achievement which will help even more cancer patients and their families thanks to the generosity of those who made donations or were involved in this amazing event.”
Carrickmore player Mickey Gallagher, who took part in the Marathon Match, said: “Completing this world record challenge came with many aches, pains and struggles along the way; but in the back of our minds, we knew that how we were feeling for those 24 hours was minuscule in comparison to how some of the people we were raising money for were feeling.
“This kept us going through the hard times and, coupled with the help and support received from our friends and family, both on a monetary and social level, there was only ever going to be one outcome.”
John McAreavey, Chairman of Michaela Foundation, said: “It was really fantastic to see all the players reunited and to relive the momentous occasion back in January, while also celebrating such a historic world record.
“It was clear to see that the bond created over the 24 hours still remains and to reminisce with all the lads was great fun, I am so appreciative of their efforts and I’m glad they got so much in return.”
Kieran Kennedy, Managing Director of O'Neill’s Irish International Sports Company, said: “Michaela Foundation is an inspiration to young people and O’Neill’s were very honoured to continue our sponsorship partnership for the Marathon Match.
“The players were superb in raising valuable funds for Cancer Focus NI and the Michaela Foundation and the presentation night was a great opportunity to renew friendships. Congratulations again on the wonderful achievement to all concerned."
The charities expressed special thanks to all those involved in this fantastic event.
Cancer Focus NI provides a wide range of services for Northern Ireland cancer patients and their families. These include counselling, family support, a help and information Nurseline (0800 783 3339), bra and swimwear fitting for women who’ve had breast surgery, stop smoking clinics, and cancer prevention in schools, communities and workplaces. The charity also funds breast cancer research at Queen’s University Belfast.
Michaela Foundation, inspired by the life and values of Michaela McAreavey, aims to support and inspire young people in Ireland to lead happy and fulfilled lives without limits. Michaela Foundation organises summer camps and other initiatives for young people that encourage the practice of all the values that Michaela, her family and friends hold dear, such as the Irish language, faith, fun, well-being and fashion.