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News / February 6, 2009

Charity event sparkles with brilliance

by Guy Hiscott

Belfast dentist, Lucy Jaffa, is hosting a multi-sports race called Diamond Quest Ireland for her charity, the African Schools Trust. With thousands of pounds worth of diamonds up for grabs, drop your drills and grab your trainers for one of the most exciting races of the year.

This May, hundreds of men and women from across Ireland and the UK are expected to hit the Irish Carlingford and Mourne Mountains. The race, which is being organised by Adventure Ireland and Causeway Coast Adventure Racing, on behalf of the African Schools Trust charity, will aim to raise funds for a feeding programme to nourish 1,000 teachers and school children in the slums of Nairobi for the following year.

Competitors will start off from Carlingford in County Louth with a hill run through the beautiful Cooley Mountains and along a forest path, followed by a short kayak section from Omeath to Warrenpoint, and finish with a bike ride through the heart of the Mournes, sweeping down to the sea at Newcastle in County Down.

But it’s not just the first across the finish line who will receive prizes – there are four diamonds to be won, as charity patron Lucy Jaffa explains: ‘To give everyone the opportunity to win one of our diamonds, we’ll be allocating one for those in the top 50, another for the next 100 and a third diamond for the rest of the competitors. Plus there’ll also be an extra diamond to be won by any competitor or guest at the party that night in O’Hare’s bar in Newcastle, where we’ll sneak a diamond into a glass of champagne! It means you don’t have to be the fittest to win a diamond, and you’ll still have fun taking part.’

Everest climber and dentist Hannah Shields, who is supporting the event, said: ‘Taking part in a race like this will give competitors such a fantastic buzz of adrenaline, as well as the great feeling of helping so many needy children in Africa.’

Also helping to promote the race and all set to take part are Lucy Evangelista, former Miss UK, and Ulster rugby player Matt McCullough.

For those wishing to enter the race, which takes place on Saturday 9 May 2009, the fee is £80.00 (which includes T-shirt, post race party entry and refreshments). For further details, contact Lucy on +44 (0) 7734 083533 or Ivan on +44 (0) 7866 416550, or visit the website at