Pictured are GOAL Ambassadors (l to r) Shamrock Rovers’ Captain Ronan Finn, award-winning writer Paul Howard, Irish Rugby International Jenny Murphy, Senior Dublin ladies’ footballer Sinead Ahearn and Irish Paralympic athlete Greta Streimikyte. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
GOAL is launching this year’s hugely popular Christmas fundraiser, the GOAL Mile, for people across Ireland and abroad, with registration now open.
The annual event sees people across the country gather over the Christmas holidays to run, jog or walk a mile in support of vulnerable communities across 14 countries where GOAL works in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Started first in 1977, this year’s GOAL Mile is supported by AIB in the first of an exciting new three year partnership, announced just last month.
This year marks the first time that both in-person and virtual GOAL Miles are taking place following the move online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, over 170 GOAL Miles were organised across Ireland, with approximately 50,000 people raising over €250,000 in 2019. With AIB’s support, the GOAL Mile is now set to return stronger than ever.
GOAL’s Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Eamon Sharkey, sees the option of physical or virtual GOAL Miles as an opportunity to connect even more people with their communities, the Irish diaspora and GOAL’s work this Christmas.
“We are so excited to re-connect with people in-person this Christmas. For many people, it will have been two years since they were last with family, friends and neighbours, and we hope the GOAL Mile can play a part in bringing people together as we come out of such a challenging period.”
“Of course, there are many people around the world who still can’t be at home or take part in physical events this Christmas. That is why we are delighted to also be encouraging virtual GOAL Miles once again. Last year people from every corner of the world took part to make it a truly global event, and we would love to see that become a part of the longstanding tradition of the GOAL Mile.”
GOAL CEO Siobhan Walsh hopes to reach more communities throughout Ireland and across the globe with the GOAL Mile.
“Hundreds of communities across Ireland already know and love the GOAL Mile,” said Ms. Walsh. “They show incredible compassion for communities in need across the world that this event supports. GOAL helped more than 14 million people in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America last year. We could not have achieved this without the continued support of the Irish people.”
She added: “We look forward to AIB’s 9,000+ staff and wide customer base standing with GOAL as we continue our mission to help communities to respond to and recover from humanitarian crises.”
AIB Chief Executive, Colin Hunt, said: “The GOAL Mile is a renowned and long-standing event that helps transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people. We know that the GOAL Mile is already at the heart of many of the communities we serve, and we look forward to taking part in this unique event with our staff and customers. At AIB we are committed to building a sustainable tomorrow by backing those who are building it today, and by supporting GOAL we are reaching those communities that are already suffering deeply from the impact of crises, poverty and climate change.“