IT will be a case of shoulder to the scrum machine at dawn for some of Dunmore's top sportsmen when they take on the challenge of pushing their scrum machine a gruelling 33km from Tuam to Galway tomorrow.
The Push4Pieta charity challenge by members of Dunmore RFC will begin early in the morning starting at the Pieta House centre in Tuam and continues along the N17, to Eyre Square and then the Sportsground ahead of Connacht's PRO12 game with Leinster.
Teams of eight will take it in turns to push the hefty machine which they hope to bring to a stop in Eyre Square at 2.30pm where people will have the opportunity to make a donation to the suicide prevention charity Pieta House.
At 5.30 the journey continues to The Huntsman where there will be a 'Push4Pieta' BBQ.
Dunmore RFC President Jimmy Coen said although the challenge will be difficult he is delighted the club have spearheaded such an initiative.
"We are very grateful to Pieta House and Connacht Rugby for supporting this unique event on April 15,” said Coen.
“We have set ourselves a huge challenge of pushing our scrum machine for Pieta along the N17 and into Galway City. We hope that the awareness we raise will filter down to all within the rugby community and beyond. The funds raised will go towards supporting and maintaining the fantastic work which Pieta are involved in, along with driving the ambitions and growth of Dunmore Rugby Club.”
The club chose Pieta House because suicide has directly affected the players and their supporters.
“Suicide is a leading cause of death in Ireland, especially in males between 15 and 34. All the men who are taking part in this challenge are within this age bracket. With 8 out of 10 suicides each week being men; we feel that more needs to be done to support charities like Pieta House,” stated the club.
There has been an overwhelming response to the challenge with people coming on board each day. The members are looking forward nmore RFC’s continued drive to build playing numbers at the club and fundraise.
To create awareness about the event and generate funds the players and their friends have also incorporated a ‘Push4Pieta’ challenge. Challenges - big or small, have been completed, with clubs encouraged to record the task, post it to the Dunmore RFC Facebook or Twitter page using the hashtag #Push4Pieta, and make a donation via text or online. These challenges have seen the players push cars, tractors, shopping trolleys and a whole host of weird and wonderful things.
Pieta House West in Tuam provides the service for individuals across the western region. All of the services available can be accessed by phoning the free 24-hour suicide helpline, 1800 247 247.
Watch a short training session here.