Sumo Wrestling comes to Irishtown!

Pictured Above: Two Sumo Wrestlers in action.

Pictured Above: Two Sumo Wrestlers in action.

On Saturday, February 27th, a ‘Sumo Wrestling’ competition at the Clanna Gael Fontenoy Club was organised by Irishtown fundraiser Jennifer Betts.

It was all in aid of Pieta House, the charity dealing with suicide prevention; offering counselling and direct support to those in drastic need of help and change in their life. Pieta House now have 17 branches nationwide. All services and counselling with Pieta House are free of charge.

Twenty fighters fought, with an equal number of men and women until the knockout stage, with a winner in each category, for a €50 cash prize. “My intention was to state basically lets tackle suicide and give it a good beating!” said Betts.

“Each participant went around the community with a sponsor card. People would stop me on the street with a keen interest in this event. The prizes were donated from the local chemist, the butcher’s, the hairdressers’ salon, friends gave me bottles of wine and I even got my family to help bake some cakes with a little persuasion. We finished the night off with the DJ playing some music; the whole night was to give people an impression or memory of fun.”

Above: Organiser and fundraiser Jennifer Betts.

Above: Organiser and fundraiser Jennifer Betts.

Betts has previously raised €800 from coffee mornings in the local community of Ringsend, distributing leaflets, raising public awareness for suicide prevention and she has raised €10,000, over time, for ‘Pieta’.

“I know people who have availed of their services and they’re now doing great,” says Betts. “The waiting time with Pieta is only a matter of days. More people die every year through suicide than on the roads. These are needless deaths that can be prevented. I wanted to provide for Pieta House in recognition of their great services, so I wanted to do something different.”

Newsfour talked to Betts about the key problems and issues that need to be addressed over suicide.

“The Government and the HSE are not doing enough to address this problem and it has gone beyond being a serious problem. I urge people if they are having suicidal thoughts of self-harm, I would talk, text or call the suicide prevention services.”

Betts was delighted with the results of the Sumo Wrestling Competition, the community spirit that surfaced and the enthusiasm that came in a night of amicable fun, which has raised at least €2,200 so far and counting.

When I asked Jennifer about her next idea in charitable fundraising, she informed me that she hopes to organise coffee mornings this summer, for ‘Dogs Aid,’ in the local Ringsend Community.

By Robert Fullarton