DONATIONS: Pictured left to right are Graham Clifford, founder of the Sanctuary Runners, and Oliver Kirwan, founder Elite Event Management with some of the running gear donated recently.

More than one thousand pieces of running gear were donated to those living in Direct Provision – by people from all over Kerry and beyond.

Organisers staged the collection of running gear at the recent Run Killarney event, to help encourage more people living in Direct Provision centres to get out running. The initiative was a partnership with the Sanctuary Runners, set up by Graham Clifford last year to enable local runners to run alongside, and in solidarity with, those in Direct Provision thereby fostering friendship, positivity and respect while bringing greater awareness to the system in which asylum seekers live.

Running shoes, tops, leggings, shorts, socks and other gear filled numerous boxes after the event. This gear will now be distributed to Sanctuary Runner groups around the country to help encourage more people living in Direct Provision have the opportunity to try out running with members of their local community.

This year’s Run Killarney saw 10 runners who live in Direct Provision compete alongside Sanctuary Runners from all over Ireland. More than three thousand runners in total took part in the 10k and half marathon through Killarney National Park on Saturday, July 20.

“It’s fantastic to receive this gear on behalf of the Sanctuary Runners,” Graham said. “People who live in Direct Provision wouldn’t find it easy to come by this kind of clothing or gear, and therefore it will make a great difference to many of them who would like to try out running and take the opportunity to engage more with the local runners in their area. We would like to thank the Run Killarney organisers for their support on this. We absolutely loved the event again this year and we’ll be back again next year with even more Sanctuary Runners we hope!”

For more information or to join the Sanctuary Runners group, contact local coordinator Mike Riordan at The group will take part in the weekly Parkruns in the grounds of Killarney House and Gardens in the town centre and you don’t have to be a runner to get involved. If you’re on Twitter you can follow their progress @Kerrysancrun. Plans are also in place for the Sanctuary Runners to spread to the towns of Tralee and Kenmare in the coming months.

Run Killarney takes place on Saturday July 18, 2020 and registration is now open with an Early Bird offer in place until November 30, 2019.

For more information please contact or 087 6024621.