By Oisín Bradley
A group of NUI Galway students are undertaking a unique and fascinating challenge in order to raise money for a worthy cause.
Nine months from now, NUIG student Darragh Burke and a group of fellow thrill seekers plan on being nearly six thousand metres above sea level at the peak of highest free standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro.
The group of brave climbers are undertaking the feat as part of a fundraiser for the national Meningitis Research Foundation.
Speaking to SIN, BA student Burke revealed how he found out about the challenge and was immediately hooked.
“Another NUIG student by the name of Sean Maguire got in contact with me and told me about a webinar that was going on about it. He sent on the link an hour before and told me to have a look.
“I saw the opportunity and jumped at it.”
At first, Burke didn’t know too much about the charity or their cause, however after looking into their amazing work in trying to combat meningitis, he became more and more engrossed.
“I didn’t really know an awful lot about the challenge or the charity or anything like that beforehand, but then I looked into the Meningitis Research Foundation and the work that they’re doing. It’ll be a really good experience and challenge and I’m really looking forward to it.
It’s a win-win in my book. We’re raising awareness for a good cause and you get to do something amazing.”
Training for the group is well under-way, and even from the earlier stages of preparation some members of the group are pushing each other all the way, says Burke.
“There’s four or five people from NUI Galway doing as well a group from University of Limerick. In total there’s about twenty or thirty of us.”
“They you’d need a fairly basic level of fitness for it, but we’re all challenging ourselves by doing running challenges and the like. For the month of November, I said I’d run 200 kilometres over the thirty days. That level of fitness would probably be enough to get to the top.”
When asked about hesitancy in getting involved, Burke immediately dismissed the notion.
“It’s meant to be taking place in August of next year, so hopefully everything will be calmed down with Covid and all and we’ll be able to actually head out there.”
“I just jumped at the opportunity to be honest, it just seemed like a really good opportunity overall. It combines a worthy cause with an exciting challenge and we can’t wait to take it on.”
“There’s not been much to do recently, and it’s good to try and do something productive and spread a bit of positivity.”
People who are looking to donate can only do so online at the moment given the current situation. That said, the generosity of donors at the moment is strong. You can find the link to Darragh’s ‘Just Giving’ page here;