A former teacher who launched a pioneering sports network for people of determination has completed seven marathons across seven emirates on consecutive days to raise money and awareness for the cause.
Hollie Murphy, 34, began the incredible journey in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, March 27 – notching over 294km by the time she crossed the finish line on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah on Friday, April 2.
The challenge, supported by New Balance, raised over 5,000 dirhams for Heroes of Hope – a non- profit organization Hollie launched to help people of determination build relationships through sports and Al Jalila Foundation, which helps provide medical treatment for individuals unable to afford
Hollie, an Irish expat who lives in Dubai, said: “Heroes of Hope is all about enabling children and young people with physical and intellectual disabilities to participate and interact through sports as well as enjoy a sense of achievement, regardless of their physical capability.”
“It seemed fitting that I should take on a physical challenge that pushed me beyond my comfort zone to raise some funds and awareness for the cause. There were times, particularly in the middle of the challenge that I wondered what I was doing! I really had to dig deep and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
She added: “The level of support I got from members of the community who sponsored me, my colleagues and so many others were amazing.”
New Balance through their partnership with Hollie and Heroes of Hope have committed to donate 294 pairs of trainers to kids of determination; for every kilometer run by Hollie, New Balance would donate a pair of trainers. Hollie’s 7 marathons, across 7 emirates in 7 days, amassed over 294 kilometers.
Hollie’s work with people of determination began when she was a PE teacher in Dubai. She set up an after-school club for children of determination which attracted support from organizations and facility owners who enabled it to grow.
After witnessing the benefits of the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, Hollie gave up teaching in 2020 and founded Heroes of Hope as a free community outreach initiative. Heroes of Hope was selected by the social incubator programme of the Authority for Social Inclusion – Ma’an.
It is an Abu Dhabi based authority for social contribution that brings together the government, the private sector and civil society to support a culture of social contribution and participation.
Stuart Henwood of New Balance said: “Hollie has shown so much spirit over the years and especially in the last seven days through this incredible challenge. We were only too happy to enable Hollie’s running journey across the 7 emirates. Our aim was to ensure she had the maximum comfort over the 7 days, this is why we provided our Fresh Foam franchise to her. As a brand we are very proud to be associated with Heroes of Hope and this initiative, we are a brand of movement and through this initiative we have been fortunate enough to enable 294 kids of determination to move better with our donation of trainers.”
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