10 Aug 2022

Annual Goal Mile on St Stephen's Day in Derry will be held virtually this year because of pandemic

People urged to register for popular event

Annual Goal Mile on St Stephen's Day in Derry will be held virtually this year because of pandemic

Some of those who took part in one of the previous Goal Miles in Derry.

A Derry man is calling on her fellow county folk to go the distance and register to do a virtual GOAL Mile this Christmas to support the world’s most vulnerable communities.

The appeal has come from Lee Casey, after GOAL announced that the traditional and much-loved GOAL Mile will be going virtual this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For the past several years thousands of people all over Derry have turned out in their communities and parishes every Christmas to walk, run or jog a GOAL Mile, with funds raised going towards supporting GOAL’s work in 13 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

According to Lee, who has been a GOAL Mile organiser for 18 years, it is more vital than ever that people support the GOAL Mile this year.

Local GP Lee began organising the event with local nun by Sr Bernadine a Nazareth sister.

He said: “I spent time in a missionary hospital in 1993 and have seen first hand the work GOAL does and am proud to be involved with helping them in any way that I can.

“Whilst this Christmas we are all being asked to keep apart due to COVID-19, we can still stand together for GOAL by registering to complete a virtualGOAL Mile.

"Whether it’s a run, walk, swim, or cycle, I want people across Derry to join me to travel a mile.”

Each registration will count as one mile. And according to Lee, once people have registered they have the option of passing a virtual baton to challenge friends on social media to do likewise!

GOAL’s Director of Fundraising, Eamon Sharkey, said: “We are living in a totally different world to the one we were in last Christmas. COVID-19 has taken a grip and changed all of our lives, but sadly it is the most vulnerable communities around the world who are impacted most, with COVID-19 impacting on their livelihoods and access to food.

“I want to thank the people of Derry for all their support for the GOAL Mile over the years. Despite COVID-19 we are determined that this great tradition will continue and we can all do our GOAL Mile virtually.

"Families and small groups of people may be able to do it together once Government guidelines and social distancing is strictly observed. This year will be different - but the end result will be the same.”

Here is how you can help GOAL hit the magic 10,000 miles in the spirit of helping those in need.

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