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Aqua Elite Fundraiser for Cliona’s Foundation Raised Over €3,000

Aqua Elite Fundraiser for Cliona’s Foundation Raised Over €3,000

Sarah McNamara owner and swim teacher at Aqua Elite gathered together the Aqua Elite Adult Stamina group to take part in this year’s ‘Swim for a Mile’ in the University of Limerick Sports Arena swimming pool. Sarah said, “I saw this as an opportunity to raise money for a charity and asked parents of my classes for suggestions”. After discussions, Sarah decided on Cliona’s Foundation which was mentioned several times. Sarah commented, “I liked the idea of picking a local charity, more importantly, one associated with children.”

Aqua Elite Fundraiser

Phil Deegan, Cliona’s Foundation (second from left) with Hazel Noone, Sarah McNamara and Niamh Blake from Aqua Elite

Cliona’s Foundation is an incredible Limerick-based charity that provides financial assistance directly to parents of children with life-limiting illnesses or chronic complex care needs across Ireland to help with the non-medical expenses related to caring for their child.  The Foundation was set up by Brendan and Terry Ring in 2007 following the death of their daughter Cliona from an inoperable brain tumour. Since its launch, Cliona’s Foundation has raised in excess of €1,000,000 and has helped more than 400 families across 28 counties.  Cliona’s Foundation relies completely on the public’s support, through donations, events and other fundraisers.  

Sarah McNamara is a mother of 3 and teaches children at Aqua Elite. Because of this, Sarah decided that Cliona’s Foundation was a perfect choice for an Aqua Elite Fundraiser. Sarah stated, “Raising funds for a foundation like Cliona’s made swimming goals all the more worthwhile and enjoyable.”

Aqua elite spent time training together, building friendships and supporting each other over the past few months and thoroughly enjoyed this time preparing for the Aqua Elite Fundraiser. After training with the Adult Stamina, Sarah embarked on trying to get the Elite Children Swimmers involved. She began by setting them a target of swimming 500m at Energize Health Club. The children were very enthusiastic and readily got involved. 25 swimmers all agreed to take part in this fundraising event for Cliona’s foundation.

On March 21, 2017, in UL Arena Sarah McNamara, Hazel Noone, Siobhan Condon, Niamh Blake and Barry Linnane all completed the ‘Swim for a Mile’ Challenge in beating their personal bests in the process. In the same week, the Elite Children Swimmers completed their 500m swim in aid of Cliona’s Foundation.

The children who took part in this Aqua Elite fundraiser challenge swam 25 lengths front crawl in roughly 20 minutes. These children who are aged eight and over each took a sponsorship card and raised huge sums of money or the wonderful cause. Sarah McNamara expressed how happy she was at everyone’s participation saying, “I am extremely proud of each and every one of them as they totally embraced the whole idea and fundraising. Many of their parents only wish they could swim as well”.

Aqua Elite are extremely humbled by the support they received from friends, family and local community with this fundraiser in aid of Cliona’s Foundation. Collectively Aqua Elite has raised €3805. Swim for a mile is just a stepping stone for future swimming and fundraising success.

Full details, videos and photographs can be found on Aqua Elite’s Facebook page here

For more on Cliona’s Foundation click here

For more on local fundraisers click here

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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