University College Dublin (UCD) Rugby Football Club (RFC) will be hosting a unique fundraising event on Saturday the 11th of July as they encourage supporters and club members both old and new to take part in the AdAstra 5k Fun Run/Walk. As the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic forced the postponement of UCD RFC’s usual fundraisers, such as their Annual Dinner, UCD RFC have had to think outside of the box in order raise funds during the summer.
The AdAsdtra 5k is a voluntary call for members and supporters of the club to run or walk a total of 5km on Saturday, and donate towards the “Collidge” GoFundMe page after they have finished their run.
“Like many sports clubs in Ireland, traditional fundraising lines have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 and UCD RFC faces many of the same issues and challenges,” said Shane Geraghty, the organiser of the event from UVD RFC. “For example major fundraising activities such as the UCDRFC Annual Dinner have had to be postponed with the resulting loss in revenue to the Club.”
The club is hoping to raise at least €10,000 for expenses in running the club and supplying members with the best experience possible when they return to play. In the event that we exceed our target, any residual amounts with be allocated by our Finance Committee to ensure the successful running of the Club from the Under 20s, right up through our junior teams and First XV,” said Geraghty.
This will not be a typical 5km fun run, however, as there will be very little way to track the number of participants, their times and how many of them donated the money after completing the 5km. However, Geraghty believes that the fun aspect of the event is the key, and has set up a tracking system for those that want to add a sense of competition to the event.
“As the event is designed to be a fun event, we will not be requiring people to track their run unless they want to. We have set up an event page through the Strava Exercise App for the AdAstra5k and if people want to post their times to this event, we would be delighted for them to do it,” said Geraghty. “It is a great way to have a bit of healthy competition and also show the strength of the UCD rugby community. If people simply want to donate and not do the run/walk that’s ok too.”
“It’s hard to say exactly how many people will participate in the event but many of the current players, coaches and supporters have already agreed to get involved. People are encouraged to do the 5k at their leisure and in their own time. There is absolutely no pressure,” added Geraghty.
A number of former UCD RFC players have given their messages of support to the club and those taking part in the fun run. Among the former players that have sent their messages are Munster scrum half Nick McCarthy and Leinster outside back and Irish Sevens player Adam Byrne.
“The support of former players who have moved on to professional ranks is absolutely massive for the Club and we are very fortunate that we have so many players who have fantastic memories of their time playing in Belfield for UCD and who made friendships for life while playing in St. Patrick’s blue,” said Geraghty. “Over the years many of them have lent their support to various initiates within UCD and the Club including the Annual UCD RFC Daffodil Day event and so we hugely value the players support and contribution. We are very lucky to have players who are so generous with their time in supporting these events and initiatives.”
At time of publishing, the UCD RFC GoFundMe had raised just less than €2,000 of their €10,000 goal. “Any contribution is a huge support to the Club and we are excited about the future potential of the event in future,” said Geraghty.
Stephen Kisbey-Green – Co-Editor