Darndale 5K highlights Community Spirit

by Gazette Reporter
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Darndale’s community spirit, to the fore in a campaign to steer local young people away from addiction and crime, will be on show at a 5K fun run in the local park this Saturday (April 30), as the area hosts a hive of life and colour.

Local man and professional triathlete Ger Redmond, an ambassador for the Get The Message Out campaign, which promote alternatives to crime and drug-related activity in the area, has organised the event as part of the drive.

Get The Message Out was established by Northside Partnership, a development company working with locals, state bodies, public representatives, employers and trade unions to improve the lives of people in north-east Dublin and foster positive change.

The initiative informs young people and families of the dangers and alternatives to drugs and crime and supports those wishing to exit that lifestyle.

Father and ex-prisoner Ger said sport and fitness had helped him turn his life around following the birth of his son, prompting him to organise the 5K, which will have a 1K element for children and commence at 11.00am.

And Dr Jack Nolan, chair of the Darndale Economic and Social Plan implementation group, said such events were needed to show that communities affected by drugs have not been forgotten.

“We know we need to use every available means to positively help young people involved in the drug economy,” he said.

“Young people and their families need to know there is another way. 

“The initiative provides support for young people and families caught up in drug-debt intimidation.

“And it encourages people to consider a different way of life by highlighting opportunities, services and activities available to help them to reach their full potential.”

According to Ger, young people should not let their environment define who they are or what they want to achieve.

“I grew up in Darndale. I was involved in crime for about 18 years. I have a son now and I changed my life in 2016 to inspire him,” said Ger.

“Twenty-two months later I became a professional triathlete. I never swam before. I found sport to be like a counsellor.

“I came up with the idea of a 5K because I wanted to spread positivity in the Darndale community. 

“The people of Darndale do not see runs or races brought to their area. I wanted to show something different.

“It will be a family day out to bring people together and create a great atmosphere. We want to promote healthy lifestyles through sport. Sport saved my life.

“We are bringing people together to highlight that this is a good community.”

The back of every commemorative medal and t-shirt will include contact information for the Get The Message out campaign for those who may one day need it.

Further information is available at northsidepartnership.ie

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