By Eleni Megoran
On 29 August at 5am, Trinity Takes To The Streets undertook an intense team challenge relay in the Dublin City Triathlon. Five teams awoke to a 1.5 kilometre swim in the Liffey, 40 kilometre cycle and 10 kilometre run. TTTTS raises money and distributes it evenly for the beneficiary initiatives of Trinity Access Programme, the National Institute for International Disability and the Student Hardship Fund.
TTTTS was set up to alleviate the financial difficulties placed on students. Since its initiation in 2009 it has raised over €110,000. The director of Trinity Foundation, Nick Sparrow, explains that “it was clear that everyone – college and students – were going into a very challenging economic environment. That it was unlikely that government support and other major supporters would be able to provide the financial assistance to students at its previous level. It was decided that the Trinity community should take direct action.”
A committed group of TCD staff, alumni and friends have supported the cause since it was launched on Pancake Tuesday 2009 in the Pavilion Bar. TTTTS is understood as a minimovement allowing supporters to gather sponsorship through organising events under the TTTTS banner. The organisers then report back to the Trinity Foundation which can also give help and advice if needed.
Over 150 staff, alumni and students have been actively involved in what Nick Sparrow calls the mini-movement. Running marathons, mini-marathons, swimming in the Liffey, organising table quizzes and comedy nights are all ways that students have contributed to the initiative. TTTTS has received great support by thousands of people sponsoring the events.
In 2009 over 30 people ran the Dublin City Marathon including the Rose of Tralee, Trinity graduate Charmaine Kenny, Dr Amanda Piesse and the former Pro-Chancellor of University of Dublin, Professor Eda Sagarra, to name a few. TTTTS also participated in the Women’s Mini Marathon with 15 people running for the cause.
The Dublin City Marathon was particularly successful – raising €10,000 – which combined with the comedy nights and table quizzes brings the total acquired funds to over €110,000.
Nick Sparrow fondly reminisces about the 2009 Marathon last October that he ran: “the pain and discomfort was awful, and then I remember reaching Terenure and there was a huge crowd of Trinity staff and students cheering for the TTTTS runners – the support carried me to the finish line – Thanks guys!”
Following last year’s success, Amy Murray organised five teams of Trinity College staff to take part in the Dublin City Triathlon to support students in need. The five teams that were brave enough to step up to the gruelling challenge were: “CMN” consisting of Colm Kearney, Marco Ruffini and Nicola Byrne; the “A Team” of Clodagh Nolan, David Byrne and Declan Treanor; “Wiser” made up of Mary Tracey, Caroline Roughneen and Beth Gromley; and “Trinity Foundation” composed of Joanne Hepburn, Sean Burke and Mark Platt. The first team to come in was “Trinity Foundation”, followed by “A Team”, “CMN” and “In It To Win It” while “Wiser” pulled out of the race. Amy Murray enthusiastically said that it was a “fab success and everyone really enjoyed it. So much that we are going to do it again next year.”
With sponsorship for Triathlon still coming in, the mini-movement is set to be even bigger this year. TTTTS has organised a variety of events throughout the upcoming year and their aim is to get as many people involved as possible. Nick Sparrow said that “what matters most to us is to get as many people involved as possible – if we can get the enthusiasm going with our students, the sky’s the limit.”
They hope that this year would be as successful as last and will raise at least €10,000. The next event will be an organised barn dance in Trinity’s dining hall held on 21 October.