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Reaching the heights of Mount Everest and walking the equivalant of around the world was all in a month's work for energetic members of Saval GAC who raised over £12,000 in the novel fundraiser. The walking and climbing were all achieved without the need for oxygen while staying in the comfort of their own townland's!

ack Devaney pictured with Leah-Clare Lennon from Flipevents, who developed the community jigsaw
Jack Devaney pictured with Leah-Clare Lennon from Flipevents, who developed the community jigsaw

Throughout the month of May, over 350 members and friends of Saval GAC took on “Saval’s Everest Challenge” to complete the 104,094 steps equivalent to conquer the worlds highest mountain. The Challenge began with underage coach Damien Hillen who, having recently undergone major heart surgery and while shielding in his own home, undertook the challenge by completing the required distance walking around his own home and repeatedly climbing the 5 steps in his back garden!

Sunday 31st May saw the last day of the Challenge—not only did they surpass the original goal which was the equivalent of 80km —they then continued to complete an impressive total of over 41,000km, the equivalent distance required to circumnavigate the globe! Over £12,000 has been raised which will go towards much needed funds to support Chest, Heart & Stroke and the development of a new Community Walkway. Down GAA County Board Chairperson John Devaney visited the “finishing line” to congratulate the club on their fantastic achievement.

Down county chairman Jack Devaney pictured with Saval GAC chairman Gerry Quinn
Down county chairman Jack Devaney pictured with Saval GAC chairman Gerry Quinn

The Saval Challenge Community Jig-Saw is a 560 piece mosaic made up of individual photographs taken by participants throughout their challenge. Each participant received their vital piece and the final image was gradually completed mile by mile and piece by piece along the popular walking routes— “bringing people together while staying apart”. 

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