MEMBERS of Strabane Sigersons GAA club have set themselves a charity lockdown challenge to solo across Strabane.
Set to take place on Sunday, May 31, the 'Sigersons Solo Strabane' fundraiser will see all proceeds divided between the Koram Centre and Knockavoe School.
The event on the day will feature the Mayor, Sigersons club members, a Knockavoe representative or a Koram Centre volunteer soloing a ball around the town of Strabane visiting every housing estate.
Sigersons chairperson Liam Sweeney said the ongoing pandemic has shown the great sense of spirit that exists within local communities adding that it's important that no matter what the hardship is, it is important for people to know there is support available.
Speaking following the official launch of the event yesterday (Tuesday), he said the Koram Centre will play a major role in supporting the mental health needs of the community when the pandemic subsides.
"The club know the current circumstances are very tough on people and this will lead to a lot of people feeling isolated and needing someone to speak to.
"That’s why we have chosen the Koram Centre which provides professional therapeutic intervention and psychosocial support.
“This is an invaluable service and one certainly that Strabane cannot do without," Mr Sweeney said.
Adrian Loughery from the Koram Centre is delighted to be involved.
"We are delighted to be involved with the fundraiser and thank everyone for their support. It is important that people who are struggling with mental health and emotional well-being issues feel able to go forward.
"Funds raised will allow the Koram Centre to continue to offer support to existing and new service users at this difficult time and we encourage anyone who feels they need our help to get in touch," he explained.
The second beneficiary will be Knockavoe School which is celebrating its 15th anniversary next month.
“This is an unbelievable school that has done and continues to do so much for children with specific learning needs in our local area. We are extremely lucky to have such a facility to educate young people in our town," added Liam.
Vice-principal Grainne Dunne said the school is indebted to the local community for their continuing support as they prepare to celebrate the milestone birthday.
“In Knockavoe School we have a very strong community ethos and because the pupils are with us so long - we really feel like one big family.
"At the moment the pupils are staying at home with parents and being supported by staff through weekly phone calls, emails, home school packs and online learning. It is very difficult for many of our pupils to understand why they must stay at home and indoors, not able to attend school and see their friends and teachers and assistants.
"Knockavoe School first opened its doors 15 years ago in June 2005 and this event will begin a few weeks of celebrating our 15th birthday. We have been blessed with the support shown to our school from the local community in Strabane," she said.
The fundraiser is being held in conjunction with Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle, who is also a club member.
She said: “I am delighted to support this innovative and fun sporting event that will reach out to communities in Strabane during this difficult time. It is a great idea and one that will allow the communities to come together in a safe way to engage in GAA and at a same time raise money for local charities.
"It’s a fun idea that will motivate the local community. I am delighted to be involved and delighted that my mayoral charity (Koram Centre) has been included.
"I would like to encourage everyone to take part and to contribute if they can and look forward to being part of it. Well done to everyone involved in organising."
If you would like to register to be a part of the event follow the registration link on the club's Facebook page.
A Go Fund Me page has also been set up for donations.
To donate, visit
Liam Sweeney hopes the entire community will support the fundraiser for two very worthwhile causes.
"With current restrictions we understand how tough it is for our club members and players not being about Páirc Mhíc Sioghair. This event will be bringing GAA back into the community.
"We hope that people can come to their front gardens and welcome us as we travel around. We will be adhering strictly to the social distancing guidelines currently in place.
"We hope the people of Strabane once again can support us. Over the years the generosity of the people of Strabane both here and abroad has been amazing.
"There were so many charities we could have chosen to help in the town and it was very tough to narrow it down to just two. As a club we would like to acknowledge every single person and organisation who are doing excellent work at present."