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Dandara-sponsored Harbour2Harbour Walk 2017 bigger than ever

More than 450 people joined the Harbour2Harbour Walk on Sunday, raising at least £5,240 for local charities.

The turnout makes this year the biggest in the event’s history, smashing the record-breaking entry of 319 in 2016.

Sponsored by award-winning developer Dandara, the Harbour2Harbour Walk, began on Port Erin beach at 10am and followed a nine-mile coastal route to Castletown. This year, for the first time, a second, shorter route, starting in Port St Mary, was added to encourage more people to take part.

Beginning on Port Erin beach, the walk raised over £5000 for local charities
Beginning on Port Erin beach, the walk raised over £5000 for local charities

The coastal walk is organised by Southern Community Initiatives (SCI) to raise money for a number of important local community projects. Based at The Hub - Thie Rosien in Castletown Road, Port Erin - SCI is home to several initiatives including community art and creative writing projects, crafts, friendly bridge and board games, yoga, meditation and a thriving social fitness group. Its aim is to tackle isolation and loneliness by bringing people together through community projects, as well as promoting volunteering, inclusive communities, and providing a place for socialising and encouraging community collaboration and activities.

This year money has also been donated to Beach Buddies, recognising the work volunteers do removing litter from the coastline along the walk route.

Plenty of dogs joined in on the nine mile route
Plenty of dogs joined in on the nine mile route!

Event Co-ordinator Janet Bridle said 454 walkers took part in the community event and the money raised from entry fees and donations had reached £5,240, more than £1,000 more than was raised in 2016.

She added:

It was an amazing turnout and a brilliant day, everyone had fun and it truly was a “happy” event. The feedback has been so positive, with lots of comments about what a lovely family day out it was, how wonderful the scenery was and how well marshalled the walk was.

The number of people who turned out exceeded our expectations, and the second start worked really well, allowing more people to get involved by offering a shorter and less challenging route.

What I’m absolutely delighted with is the number of young people who joined the walk in 2017. We had almost 100 entrants aged under 18, some 70% of which were under 12. It had a real community feel with lots of families joining in, and some very well behaved dogs.

I’d like to thank everyone who took part, everyone involved in organising the Harbour2Harbour Walk, Southern Nomads RUFC for marshalling the walk and our sponsor Dandara, which has been so supportive throughout.

A record-breaking turn out for the 4th Harbour2Harbour Walk
A record-breaking number of people turned out for the 4th Harbour2Harbour Walk

Dandara Managing Director Seamus Nugent said:

The Harbour2Harbour Walk goes from strength to strength, and the record-breaking entry and fundraising this year is tremendous. We have always seen the walk as a community event which invites everyone, young and old, to get involved, and it was wonderful to see so many children and families joining in this year.

I’d like to congratulate Janet and her team on another hugely successful year for the Harbour2Harbour Walk, as well as all the other volunteers who made it possible and, of course, all the walkers who helped make it such an amazing success.

Plans are already under way for next year’s Harbour2Harbour Walk, which is expected to run from Castletown to Port Erin.

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