Sanctuary Runners forge friendship through the miles

Sanctuary Runners Limerick

SANCTUARY Runners bring together Irish people and those in Direct Provision to forge friendships through the positive action of running together.

The group begins training this month to run the 10K together at the Great Limerick Run in May.
Starting on Monday, February 17, the Sanctuary Runners will meet on Monday evenings and Saturday afternoons for 11 weeks of training in the lead up to the Great Limerick Run.
Everyone is welcome to  find out more about the group on opening night on Monday, February 17 when Sanctuary Runners assemble at their meeting point at 7pm at the Maguire’s Pitches car park in UL Castletroy.

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Originally started in Dungarvan, County Waterford in 2018, Sanctuary Runners was established in Limerick City in 2019 and is a non-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers such as Gillian Fenton, Marketing Manager with the Lime Tree Theatre.
Gillian hopes members of the wider public will join the group again this year.
“Often people don’t know how they can help people in Direct Provision. They don’t know if and how they can meet with them and show their solidarity. This is a simple, uplifting and positive way of making that connection and showing how compassionate the people of Limerick are,” she added.

The Sanctuary Runners was founded by Graham Clifford who works as a feature writer with the Irish Times and broadcaster with RTÉ Radio 1. The initiative brings together asylum seekers, refugees and Irish people sharing the physical health and mental benefits from running together.
The initiative is about solidarity rather than charity so participants are never asked to fundraise or donate money.

Today Sanctuary Runners has 1,500 members in 18 locations countrywide. It was named by the European Commission as a finalist in their Social Inclusion in Sport Awards in 2019.
Graham added, “Our initiative is about respect, solidarity and humanity. Sport is a great equaliser and when people are running together, shoulder-to-shoulder, it’s then that conversation flows, smiles emerge and friendships build.”

Sanctuary Runners enables the wider community to run in solidarity with those living in Direct Provision centres in Limerick City and County. The group states that it is non-political and not a protest group.
“Our initiative is based on positivity, dignity, respect and solidarity.”

To find out more about the Sanctuary Runners in Limerick visit or email  [email protected]