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01 Jul 2022

'Huge success' as 500 join joyful Laois youth Colour Run

'Huge success' as 500 join Laois youth Colour Run

The Laois Comhairle na nÓg Colour Run. Photo: Michael ScullyMichael Scully

The organisers of the recent Laois Colour Run for young people have revealed that some 500 people took part in their unique uplifting event for mental health support.

Laois Comhairle na nÒg organised the Colour Fun Run along the grand canal in Vicarstown on Friday May 13. It was a 3km run/walk. 1.5km up the canal and 1.5km back down.

"We as a committee are made up of young people that represent all the secondary schools, youthreach and family resource centres in Co. Laois. At last year AGM the young people voted “Mental Health” as their topic to work and bring to light for 2022.

"Back in late January 2022, we came up with an idea in order to bring schools, youth reach, family resource together as a community, on doing something positive and talk about “mental health” to start using our own tools instead of waiting
for resources etc and talking about Mental Health in a positive spin, to create awareness and create memories so when the AGM for October/November 2022 comes up, the young people will be part of the project and will have the memories from a Fun Run.

"Just under 500 people turned up from all around Laois including a football club from Kildare. Two secondary schools Mountmellick Community School and Colaiste Iosagain in Portarlington came in busses. So many parents from around the county brought their families to take part.

"It turned out to be a huge success. Our aim was to have as many colour stations as possible along the route so everyone gets to experience the colour thrown at them. We had Evelyn Lewis from El-Fit Gym Back doing the warm up before the run/walk. We had Cllr Conor Bergin, Donal Brennan, Pamela Tynan, Rose Doolin, Healthy Ireland at the start line.

"It was great to see so many coming back pelted and covered with colour all over them, and their smiles, hugs, and picture taking when finished. The atmosphere was electric," organiser Niamh Kavanagh said.

At the community hall Comhairle had stands and information displays on the mental health services including Aengus Burke Flame Mental and Physical Health Service, Teac Tom office in Stradbally, information from Josephine Rigney (HSE), Healthy Ireland, Laois County Council, Youth Work Ireland Laois, Laois Sports Partnership.

They gave out a bottle of water and a wrist band to participants, with Laois band Paper Planes finishing off the evening with live music, and an ice-cream and crepe van to complete the feelgood factor.

Niamh is grateful to every person who helped make the event a huge success. 

"To everyone that turned up took part and our volunteers. Big thanks to the Vicarstown Community for all their help, Youth Work Ireland Laois, Laois County Council, Laois Sports Partnership, People First Choice Credit Union Portlaoise, Teac Tom, Aengus Burke and the HSE.

"Our aim was to create memories, bring awareness around “mental health” bringing a community together and Laois Comhairle na nÒg ticked all the boxes. We would like to thank everyone that believed in this idea, that made this event alive and so successful," she said.

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