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All welcome at Seans 5K for ACS autism rooms

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Participants in the 2016 Seamie Weldon 5K in Ardee. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

Thie Sunday, Sean McDermotts hold their 5K Fun Run/Walk in aid of the ASD rooms at Ardee Community School – and rain or shine, they’re hoping as many of you as possible can turn out and take part.

After three months of training, the group from the Seans’ Couch to 5K group will be among those taking part on Sunday – with the runners and walkers setting off from the start line at 11 am.

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The group have been training three times a week since November and will be fighting fit for the 5K distance which is raising funds for the community school’s (ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder rooms.

One of those taking part will be Kim Callaghan who has been out training in all weathers with the Couch to 5K group over winter. The run is especially important to her as her son Owen is autistic and is one of the pupils who benefits greatly from the facility at ACS.

Kim first brought the idea of raising additional funds for the ASD rooms to both the club and the school.

“It was myself that suggested it because I have a son in one of the classrooms. They thought it was a good idea,” Kim told ThisIsArdee.ie this week.

Kim’s son Owen has autism and benefits from the ASD rooms at Ardee CS.

“Owen is in third year, it’s a busy year. He started his first mocks on Thursday. He benefits from the ASD rooms. It’s six per room – a small group. Then, they’re integrated into the mainstream group in certain classes. It’s a mixture and it gradually integrates them into larger groups.

“I approached the school first. We were doing the Couch to 5K with the Seans and it was open to the group as to what association we should fundraise for. I said to the group I’d be interested in in doing it for the Community School – for sensory rooms like a music room or a stress room.

“The group said we’d go with that and I approached the (school prinicpal) Mary Jackson and told her the Couch to 5K had come up with an idea of raising funds for two rooms and she was delighted to have that,” Kim continued.

It is hoped that the run will have a big crowd out in force on Sunday to support the fundraising. It’s also a good time to measure how well many people’s New Year fitness drives have gone too.

“Some nights the Couch to 5K sessions can be busy and some nights are quiet. With the weather and clubs doing other runs and 5ks, it can be tough,” Kim, who herself is a veteran of small runs and mini-marathons,A said. “We are running under lights at the pitch – so that’s great. We have the luxury of that at least.”

The group, who meet tonight (Friday) for the last time, are trained by Martin Duffy with help from Barry McMahon does be there as well. “Hopefully on Sunday we’ll have a good turnout.”

The run gets underway at the Sean McDermotts club rooms at 11am on Sunday, Feburary 5th. Registration is open from 10am.

The Autism unit at Ardee Community School was officially launched on September 17th 2007 and provides a much needed facility for pupils.

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