Climb4Clare Reaches Year One Target

TG4 Ladies Football All-Star Awards 2014



The Ladies Gaelic Football Association and the Irish Cancer Society are delighted to announce that the Climb4Clare fundraising initiative has been a success with the result that the first round of ‘Climb’ facilitators are set to receive their training on January 30th and 31st at the LARCC Centre in Mullingar.


The ‘Climb’ initiative is now set to be rolled out in 10 centres across the country after February with at least one course in each centre being held before July. 19 new facilitators are set to receive their training from Rachael Smith expanding the availability of the course from the 2 counties in which it is currently available to 8 counties with plans for further expansion in 2016.


‘Climb’ is a programme which has been available in Belfast through Cancer Focus NI for a number of years. The course helps children, who have a close relative that has been diagnosed with Cancer, to deal with their feelings and the issues that arise from the diagnosis and explain the changes to the home as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Up until this year the course was only available in Belfast and in Tuam but as a result of the fundraising carried out by Ladies Football clubs and players right across the country this expansion has now been made possible. Most recently the Dublin Ladies versus Dub Stars annual Ladies Football and Camogie matches with all money raised being donated, earlier last year the Galway, Mayo and Monaghan senior county teams came together to climb Croagh Patrick whilst right throughout the country other counties and clubs have held their own events to raise funds.


Clare Clarke is a member of staff in the Ladies Gaelic Football Association for more than 11 years. 6 years ago Clare was diagnosed with cancer but managed to overcome the disease only for it to return 2 years ago. Clare has been bravely battling the disease ever since but was dismayed at the lack of services available to help her two young daughters during this traumatic time. Clare went searching and found Rachael Smith and the ‘Climb’ programme in Belfast. Clare decided that the programme was too important not to be more widely available across the country. Clare approached the LGFA who agreed to raise funds in association with the Irish Cancer Society which has led to this momentous occasion of the delivery of the first round of training to new ‘Climb’ Facilitators.


Clare is delighted to see the course become widely available ‘Climb is such an important initiative that is really needed in this country. Children need help to deal with everything that comes with the cancer diagnosis of a loved one. When I was diagnosed I found that I didn’t have the words or the ability to explain to my two young daughters what was happening to their mommy. I am so proud that because of the fine work that has been done by Ladies Football clubs and counties throughout the country that this course will now help so many other children in the same way that it has helped mine.’


LGFA president, Pat Quill, complimented the new facilitators for volunteering ‘We are so pleased to see that now there will be 19 new facilitators delivering this vital new course throughout the country. I would like to thank the volunteers who realised how important this course is and who are giving up their time to acquire the expertise needed to help children. I would also like to thank the Ladies Football community who have rallied so strongly around this cause, inspired by Clare Clarke’s remarkable story, and ensured that all 13 centres will now be delivering this course before July and again at least once after July.’


The costs of running the course have been fully covered by funds raised throughout the country and will cover all the expenses of each of the course attendees. Grants will then be provided to each centre to cover the costs of delivering at least two courses in 2015. A full list of the centres is available below but any centres that would like to have a facilitator trained are encouraged to contact the Irish Cancer Society on 01-2310500


2015 ‘Climb’ Centres:


ARC North and South Dublin

Cork ARC

Cuan (Cavan)

Cuisle Centre (Portlaoise)

Éist (Carlow)

Hand in Hand (Galway)

Hand in Hand (Tuam)

LARC (Mullinagar)

Cancer Focus NI (Cookstown)



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