Dublin hurlers hoping to strike gold for Pieta House
Dublin county hurlers from U-14 development squads right up to Mattie Kenny’s senior panel are undertaking a challenge on Saturday they hope will raise a significant sum of money for the suicide prevention and bereavement charity, Pieta House.
Over the course of an hour on Saturday morning, they will attempt to strike a sliotar a cumulative total of half a million times.
The challenge was conceived by this year’s Dublin minor hurling panel, and all involved are already just over half-way to raising their target sum of €12,500.
“Our management suggested that we'd do a charity fund-raiser and we all kind of decided on this one,” Dublin minor team captain, Andrew Keegan, told GAA.ie
“It's called Hurl for Hope. Basically it's going to be 250 Dublin hurlers ranging from our U-14 development squads to our seniors.
“The challenge is from half ten to half eleven we have to strike the ball 2,000 times each. So we're hoping to get a total of half a million strikes of the ball in the hour between us all.
“We're raising funds for Pieta House which is a great cause.”
As well as raising valuable funds for a very worthy charity, the Hurl for Hope challenge has proven to be a great confidence-building exercise for the Dublin minors.
They were each tasked with contacting a Dublin senior and U-20 hurler to ask them to also get involved in the challenge, which Keegan attests has had a very positive impact on, not just the group, but the greater collective of Dublin hurlers now involved in Hurl for Hope.
“When it came to contacting the senior players we were each given a number and we had to call a senior player.
“That was a great confidence builder for all the lads, having to ring an older player they would have always looked up to.
“It was a really positive experience and a great way to bond together all of the Dublin hurlers playing at different levels.
“The senior players were great to deal with and it’s nice to have established a contact with them now, and been able to talk about hurling with them as well as the fund-raiser.”
Clontarf club-man, Keegan, had high hopes for Dublin’s chances in the Leinster minor championship this year and admits the sporting lockdown caused by the COVID-19 health-crisis had been a real source of frustration for him and his team-mates.
“It's a real shame,” he says. “We had a great management in place this year and I was really chuffed by how the year had been going before the Coronavirus came along.
“Hopefully we'll all be back hurling by next year at the latest.”
You can donate to the Hurl for Hope fundraiser for Pieta House here - https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/hurlforhope