Every year the Enniskillen 10K Road Race and Leisure Walk gives an opportunity for charity fundraisers and community groups to come together and take on the 10K challenge, and among the groups represented on Saturday was the newly formed OMG Athletics Club.

The club, formed in January of this year in memory of the late Oisín McGrath, has grown quickly in its six months of existence to include over 150 members of all ages and abilities, and many of them turned out on Saturday morning to test themselves on the roads around Enniskillen.

“27 members did the Enniskillen 10K, quite a few of them first timers, and all completed really well,” said Nigel McGrath, father of Oisín.

“It’s amazing to see what our members have achieved in such a short time.”

The club has grown quickly from small beginnings, with 153 members currently registered with the club ranging from seven years old to over 60s.

Runners from Fermanagh, Cavan and Leitrim have all come together to form a thriving club that has quickly achieved its aim of bringing communities together and developing friendships and support networks in a largely rural community.

“The running club was initially formed out of a group of 8 or 10 adults from the Belcoo and Blacklion area who regularly ran local events,” Nigel explained.

“Some of their kids would come down and sit about while the adults ran. We realised that we could get the kids running too, so started to do some warm up routines with them, dynamic stretches and running drills suitable for all ages. Soon the kids were running too. We affiliated with Athletics NI as OMG AC in January 2017 in memory of Oisín and to further develop athletics and running in the area.

“Oisín was a keen runner and competed in athletics and cross country events as well as other sports. OMG AC is another way to keep Oisín’s spirit alive and to encourage others to participate in sport to the best of their ability as he did.

“We became an athletics club to encourage younger members to take part in a variety of athletic events and possibly compete.

“The main objectives of the club are to encourage people of all ages to run, get out and get fit and to give young people the opportunity to try sports like shot putt, javelin, discus, hurdles, sprinting and cross country.

“The club has managed to purchase some equipment through grant funding which has allowed us to provide further activities and training. We have also completed two couch to 5K groups as well as a walking programme and a 5 to 10K programme.

“The benefits to the community have been tremendous: socially, mentally and physically.

“We are so proud of all our members and how much they have achieved.

“Of course, we could not do this without all the help we receive from our coaches, volunteers, family and friends. Thanks to everyone for their continued help and support.”

The family orientated club is keen to cater for all abilities and can provide tailored support for anyone looking to develop as an athlete. Kids from the club have recently taken part in a regional competition at Clones Peace Link and they will also be represented at an athletics event at the Mary Peters track this Saturday.

“There is no pressure on members to do anything they don’t want to, but if people want to train to do more, we can provide training plans which they can follow on their own or in groups,” explained Nigel.

“The Club now consists of all abilities: 5k runners, keep fit runners, 10k runners, prospective half marathon and experienced marathon runners.

“It works well as parents and kids exercise side by side which is so good for families.”

With the club continuing to go from strength to strength, Nigel would be delighted to welcome yet more new members on board.

“We are always happy to take new members and anyone, of any ability, who wants to join is more than welcome.”

Anyone wanting to join the OMG Athletics Club can do so by contacting Nigel McGrath on 07816166739.