Record numbers to take part in Christmas GOAL Mile

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galway daily news goal christmas mile run
Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

A record number of people are expected to take part in Ireland’s popular Christmas fundraiser, the GOAL Mile, which will take place in 150 locations across the country over the Christmas period.

This year marks the first time that both in-person and virtual GOAL Miles are taking place following the move online in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The annual event sees people across the country gather over the Christmas holidays to run, jog or walk a mile in support of vulnerable communities across 14 countries where GOAL works in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

First held in 1977, this year’s GOAL Mile is supported by AIB as part of an exciting new three-year partnership.

The GOAL Mile is steeped in tradition, with families and communities running a GOAL Mile as part of their Christmas routine.

Last year Irish humanitarian aid agency GOAL reached more than 14 million people in need in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

GOAL’s work includes supporting those displaced by the ongoing conflict in Syria; running nutrition programmes saving the lives of infants in Ethiopia and providing ongoing emergency response to thousands of people affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti.

GOAL’s Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Eamon Sharkey, sees the option of physical or virtual GOAL Miles as an opportunity to connect even more people with their communities, the Irish diaspora and GOAL’s work this Christmas.

“We are so excited to re-connect with people in-person this Christmas. For many, it will have been two years since they were last with family, friends and neighbours, and we hope the GOAL Mile can play a part in bringing people together as we come out of such a challenging period.”

“Of course, there are many people around the world who still can’t be at home or take part in physical events this Christmas.”

“That is why we are delighted to also be encouraging virtual GOAL Miles once again. Last year people from every corner of the world took part to make it a truly global event, and we would love to see that become a part of the longstanding tradition of the GOAL Mile.”