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Mickey Harte in awe of support for Michaela Foundation

By Declan Bogue

Mickey Harte has hailed the efforts of the Michaela Foundation in its preparation for a world record-breaking attempt at a 24-hour game of Gaelic football.

In conjunction with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, the Michaela Foundation - which was set up in memory of Harte's daughter Michaela, who was tragically murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius in 2011 - is seeking to break the record on January 7 and 8 at the home of Tyrone GAA in Garvaghey.

Players taking part in the attempt met up last night, and they were informed that the venture has already raised £25,771 for the charities.

"It's amazing," the Tyrone boss said at the launch of the news there were over 150 applicants willing to endure what will be an arduous task. "You think that there was a date set for the close of applications sometime in the middle of December, but it was filled within a couple of weeks, it didn't even get near December.

"There are so many people out there prepared to do something so substantial for charities and that's the nature of people, it's the nature of sportspeople in general but I think GAA people in particular are very, very good.

"Not only players, but volunteers who are going to have to make this happen within the regulations that are required."

The physical and mental challenge was spelled out by SINI Sports Psychologist Kelley Fay Cuddy in a talk during the presentation. The thought of the challenge itself leaves Harte in awe.

"You think if you did four hours, that might do you, but to think you have to go again and repeat that up to six times, it's amazing," he said.

"It is mind-boggling to think that there are so many people there from all different sizes and shapes of fellas who are prepared to take it on. I think you have to take off your hat and know that they know it is a daunting task.

"There is going to be no stone left unturned in giving everybody the best possible chance to make it through. It's not just a wing and a prayer. The sheer support of people too, we are hoping that plenty of people turn out over the 24-hour period to support those involved."

Further information, and how to volunteer to help in the world record attempt, can be found at michaelafoundation.com

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