Ballydrain Harriers raise funds for Air Ambulance  from the race that never was!

One of the many consequences of the coronavirus lockdown was that Ballydrain Harriers had to cancel the extremely popular Comber 10K running road race for 2020. The race takes place every year at the end of June and attracts nearly 1000 competitors and large crowds of spectators to watch, what is an athletics spectacle and one of the most popular races of the year in Northern Ireland.

Sadly the 2020 race had to be cancelled with only a few months to go which left the club with nearly 1000 medals which couldn’t be used. So the Ballydrain Committee decided to issue a challenge to members and friends to run, walk, cycle, or swim 10K in their own time and earn a very special 2020 medal, one which they will probably never forget! In achieving that goal donations could be given to the club with 100% of the proceeds going to our chosen charity this year which was the NI Air Ambulance.

The idea seems to have struck a cord because the medals have been ‘flying’ out the door and donations pouring in! The final total came to £5,600 which is just unbelievable and a huge credit to the membership and friends of the club.

The club would like to congratulate everyone for completing their 2020 10K and to thank them for contributing to this fantastic cause. Ballydrain members, their families and friends have managed to achieve this wonderful total and continue to keep fit in the process!

Grace Williams, Area Fundraising Manager for Air Ambulance NI said; “We are so inspired by the creativity and generosity we are seeing from the public across Northern Ireland. Ballydrain Harriers are a real inspiration. This was a BIG challenge, and we are just so delighted that the team wanted to do this in support of Air Ambulance.

I am delighted to receive £5,600 from the Ballydrain Harriers and want to say a huge thank you to the committee and their supporters, for all of their hard work! As a service we rely heavily on charitable donations to keep the medical team in the air, delivering critical care to patients who have suffered trauma throughout Northern Ireland- without this type of support, the team simply couldn’t fly”

Air Ambulance NI is a local charity that provides the HEMS for Northern Ireland, together with its partners at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day. It can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes. This Doctor / Paramedic service benefits those whose lives are at serious risk following significant injury or trauma. Effectively the service brings emergency hospital care direct to the casualty. 

Air Ambulance NI needs to raise £2million each year to maintain this service, so public support is extremely crucial. Regular donations allow AANI to predict regular income levels to keep the helicopter flying. By joining, members will not only show their commitment to saving lives; they will also be part of the journey in creating sustainability for this critical lifesaving service. Most members donate through direct debit; or they can also opt to buy annual membership in one payment if preferred.

To become a member, contact: info@airambulanceni.org or for more information visit, http://www.airambulanceni.org/club-aani-membership/ 

Ballydrain Harriers are already planning for the 2021 Comber 10K when hopefully we can all get back to racing around Comber for another great cause.

Pictured are Gary Long and members of the Ballydrain Harriers Committee presenting Grace Williams from NI Air Ambulance with the Comber 10K 2020 donation.

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