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  • Caoimhe O'Connor

Emmet's Ten Tonne Challenge

When my boyfriend, Emmet Burns, told me he wanted to to mark the end of his first round of chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma with a charity event in aid of the Irish Cancer Society and St Vincent's Foundation, I knew it would be a success.

The idea was pretty simple, Emmet was set to lift 10 tonnes during the workout by doing 50 squats, 25 deadlifts and 25 bench press – all at 100kg. People were asked to sponsor him or, do it with me (at any weight that suited them).

Using my digital marketing skills, we put together a campaign for an event called ‘Emmet’s Ten Tonne Challenge’. This involved setting up an Instagram account (which I managed and created content for), not only to promote the event, but also to raise awareness of lymphoma.

Thanks to the effort we both put in, the page went somewhat viral, and in the first 24 hours, we raised €17k.

But we didn't stop there. Using the traction we had gained online, I managed to convince RugbyPass (one of Emmet's favourite publications), LADbible, and the42 to write articles about Emmet to promote the event. To capitalise on this and encourage more donations, we also held a raffle. Anyone who donated 50 or more had the chance to win signed Irish and Leinster Rugby jerseys.

On the day, we broadcast the event live over Zoom so that people could join in on the workout. To encourage more people to donate/join in, we asked participants to take a post-workout selfie on the day and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #EmmetsTenTonneChallenge and the link to the JustGiving page in their bio.

These simple tactics worked really hard for us and in total, we raised €46k. To me, and many others, Emmet is a super hero, and I’m glad he has allowed me to communicate that publicly.

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