LYLE Gawley raised over £2,000 for the Aisling Centre in Enniskillen after blitzing his kickathon challenge on Wednesday of last week.
The Fermanagh Ju Jitsu Club sensei had hoped to complete 2000 kicks in around two hours but he surprised himself by finishing his task in half that time.
Gawley, who is a 6th Dan practitioner of the martial art, was delighted with how things went on the day, and while it took half as long as anticipated, it certainly wasn’t half as easy!
“It went well but it was still a struggle and a fairly horrible hour,’ he admitted on Thursday.
“It was hard enough getting through it, but the good thing about it was the way I was counting – just 50 at a time. I had hairbands around my wrist, so after I’d done 50 kicks I’d take one off. So, after I’d done 40 of those I knew I was finished!
“It meant I didn’t have to count the full 2,000 and because I had 20 on each arm, when I had one arm cleared that meant I’d done 1,000 kicks, which was great!
“It was pretty tiring getting up around 900 but getting to 1,000 I knew I was into the final stretch.
“And when I got down to the last two hairbands and I knew I only has 100 to go I got stuck into it. I knew I was nearly there but I was glad when I got the final kick in!”
Encouraged by kind comments on Facebook Live, with donations flooding in and neighbours supporting him over the fence, Gawley was delighted that his fundraising effort has passed the £2300 mark for a valuable local resource.
“The amount raised was great, it’s brilliant,” he beamed.
“The response has been brilliant and I’m delighted because the Aisling Centre is something everyone knows about and the work they do, how important it is, and it’s great they have got behind this.
“I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who promoted the event by sharing on Facebook, hosting watch parties during the event, tagging people and most of all to everyone who donated.
“The money will help people in our community who suffer from depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement and more.
“The 2000 kicks was hard and I’ll be sore for a few days but it’s nothing compared to what those who have to deal with mental health issues go through every day for years and quite often their whole lives. This is why the Aisling Centre is such an important resource.
“We decided to pick the Aisling Centre because mental health is something that is everyone’s vision at the minute.
“Especially now, people who struggle with mental health are isolated and it’s that kind of human connection is lacking at present, so people may begin to struggle.
“Before all this pretty much everyone has been affected by mental health in some degree – if not personally, then through a family member or friend – so I know the Aisling Centre provide so many support services in the local community and with all charities like that, they are vastly underfunded.
“And I’d say after this lockdown is over they will need as much support as they can get.”