When the senior camogs of Eoghan Rua, Coleraine run out onto the turf at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon, they will not just carry with them the hopes and dreams of a club but also a message to young people everywhere about the importance of looking after their health.
The Eoghan Rua jerseys on Sunday, just as they have done all year, will not carry a traditional sponsor logo. Instead, they will carry the logo of the CRY organisation, Cardiac Risk in the Young, as they do their bit to help raise the profile of cardiac screening in young people and to highlight the risks of undiagnosed heart conditions.
The association stems from a friendship between Eoghan Rua boss Joe Passmore and John Lundy, one of CRY’s key representatives in the North. The Portstewart businessman lost his son Aaron, a promising young golfer, to a cardiac condition aged just 19, and since then has worked tirelessly to promote the cause.
As his girls prepare for the game of their lives at GAA Headquarters this Sunday afternoon, the manager reveals that he and his squad are delighted that they have such a prime opportunity to promote the charity.
“Last year we were looking at the issue of sponsorship within the club. Instead of leaving the front of the strips bare, the committee looked at the possibility of using them to promote certain causes and charities which were close to home.
“The camogs wear CRY’s logo, while the club’s senior hurlers support Fr Frank Diamond’s charity work. John has been extremely supportive of us, he’s delighted that we carry the CRY logo on our shirt, and he has sent us messages of good luck before each of our games.”
As part of their fundraising when the Eoghan Rua senior mens clubs reached the All-Ireland final in 2008, the club carried out screening for 80 young players in the club.
Thanks in no small part to the fundraising efforts of local golfer and CRY patron Graeme McDowell, free screenings were carried out for hundreds of young people in the Coleraine area, with some of the Eoghan Rua girls actually having been screened before heading off to their All-Ireland semi-final.
“For us, anything we can do to help raise awareness of this very worthwhile cause is a bonus. You’ve seen other sports teams in the past carrying out similar ventures, like Barcelona carrying the Unicef logo for years on their shirt.
“We’re no Barcelona, but it’s great to see our girls lining out and doing their bit to support CRY, and grom our perspective if it encourages people to go and get screened then that’s a huge positive.”
Steve Cox, Deputy Chief Executive of CRY, said that he was delighted that Eoghan Rua were going to take the charity’s profile onto the national stage this weekend.
“What Eoghan Rua have achieved already is incredible. We are so proud that they are wearing CRY’s logo on their shirts.
“CRY’s supporters in Northern Ireland have done so much in raising awareness of these conditions and the 12 fit and healthy young people who die every week in the UK of undiagnosed heart conditions. The Eoghan Rua team will build on this awareness and help to save young lives.”
If anyone is between the age of 14 and 35 and would like to be tested, or if you would like to organise a screening in your club or local area, then further information is available from the organisation’s website http://www.c-r-y.org.uk
Congratulations to the Eoghan Rua senior camogs who won the All Ireland Intermediate camogie final at Croke park on Sunday 6th March 2011
Eoghan Rua (Derry & Ulster) 3.08 v Laois Harps (Laois & Leinster) 2.03