THERE’S not much to do on an early January weekend. So, why not walk on some hot embers? That’s just what the locals in Jordan’s bar in Ardglass did on Saturday (8th January). It certainly warmed up their evening! And it must have earned the title as being the shortest charity walk in the world.
Event organisers Niamh and Clare Hanna, Teri Rooney and Adele Campbell were the driving force behind the fun evening which aimed to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Care. Niamh said, speaking just before the event in the Quay Street Car Park on the shore front, “Last year two of our uncles died of cancer within a week of each other, we thought that it would be a good idea to run this event and support this good cause. Altogether we have 17 people ready to walk and they are now committed to going through with it. There are plenty of supporters down to cheer them on.”
Clare Hanna said, “I have done the fire walk before. You really need to get mentally focused for it. It is safe but you do need to undergo a bit of mental preparation as you are walking on hot embers at 1200 degrees.”
Fire walking specialists Blaze Fire Walking, based in Nottingham, managed the event so that it was safe and fun. Karen Wallace, Blaze manager, said, “We travel far and wide from America; Europe and the Middle East. We help the fire walkers with the mental preparation, ensure their safety, and make sure everyone is having a good time.
“People lead busy lives and their minds are usually full of a number of things. Our job is to get them into the right mindset. We are all touched by cancer in our family lives and we enjoy being part of these charitable events. They are all close to out heart.”
JP Hanna who manages Jordan’s said, “I would like to thank everyone who has helped out to make this evening a success. McNabb’s Skip Hire provided a skip, Down District Council made the car park available and local mechanic Davey Walsh helped out too on the night. It was all great fun and proves that you can put mind over matter.”
In the preparation session, Karen dealt with questions that often arise such as ‘what do you do if you fall forward?’ and apart from the obvious answer of ‘get up quick’, the firewalkers have the extra assurance of Karen, a trained nurse being on hand with an assistant who follows the walkers down the 20’feet trail of burning embers. There were 14 buckets oif water strategically paced around the fire walk for the walkers to douse their feet.
In December, a waxing evening was held also to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer and it was well supported.