- Event organised by Solidarity-Through-Sport movement ‘The Sanctuary Runners’
- To show solidarity with all those who have come to Ireland seeking Sanctuary and a new life
- Supported by Athletics Ireland, Trócaire, UNHCR Ireland and Strava
More than 650 people took part in the first ever ‘Sanctuary Run’ held at the Sport Ireland Campus on Sunday, June 19th.
To show solidarity, friendship and respect with and to all those who have moved to Ireland from overseas to make Ireland home.
Participants, as well as supporters, included many from within Direct Provision centres and emergency accommodation in Dublin, Mosney, Louth, Ennis, Kildare, Longford, Bray and Monaghan.
And also taking part were many Ukrainian refugees in the greater Dublin area.
Taking place in Ireland’s most diverse postcode of Dublin 15 there were also runners from across different communities in the Blanchardstown area.
The event took place on the eve of World Refugee Day.
“It’s just so important to have a day like this where everyone is celebrated regardless of nationality, culture, religion, legal status, gender, age or sexual orientation,” said Sanctuary Runners founder and CEO Graham Clifford.
He added: “to see such wonderful positivity with people from all different backgrounds running shoulder-to-shoulder as one is just inspiring. This is how life should be, everyone deserves equal respect and to be cherished for who they are, not treated differently because of a label that’s given by society or the state.”
Partners for the event were Athletics Ireland, Trócaire, UNHCR Ireland and Strava.
The Sanctuary Runners was established in 2018 and now has 30 groups across Ireland with over 7,000 regular participants and also groups in London. The Irish movement is also hoping to establish groups in the USA, Canada and mainland Europe in the coming months.
Graham Clifford said: “We turn on the news every day and see inhumanity, conflict and indecency. It can get you down. But then you have an event like this and you see the goodness in people, you feel that sense of solidarity. When you bring people together in positivity you start to see that there are so many reasons to be hopeful for humanity and for our country. All we need to do is to show leadership and bring people together as equals, build bridges in our communities and never stop trying.”
The Sanctuary Runners aim to make the ‘Sanctuary Run’ at the Sport Ireland Campus an annual event and next year are hoping to grow the event to cater for 1,500 participants.