#GCN100KinMay Challenge highlights the importance of LGBTQ+ participation in sport

Amy Fay, a 21 year-old supervisor at Life Style Sports, smashed the #GCN100KinMay Challenge in just 12 days and tells us about the importance of staying active.

A long haired young woman with a rainbow background

Throughout the month of May, GCN has partnered with Life Style Sports on the #GCN100KinMay campaign, encouraging people to get up and active while raising some much-needed funds for Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ press.

We know how important it is for our community to get active and stay active for our physical and mental wellbeing. Running and walking has been a lockdown lifeline for so many of us. Including Amy Fay who raced through the 100km in just 12 days to become the first person to complete the challenge. While the prize of the Life Style Sports voucher was nice, she really saw the benefits of getting out and moving.

“Just with lockdown and stuff, especially with my mental health and everything, I was getting myself into a bit of a slump,” she says. Amy works for Life Style Sports in Blanchardstown and, like so many people, found herself off work for most of the last year and grappling with the uncertainty that Covid-19 brought. 

She decided to take this unexpected time off to build up her fitness. “I told myself I’m gonna be able to run a 5K by the end of lockdown, and just really got dedicated to it. So I was already doing that and then I saw the #GCN100KinMay as the final push and the last nail in the coffin about getting really determined and really fit.”

Aside from the chance to win a prize and work on her fitness, the #GCN100KinMay Challenge was important to Amy as it showed that her employer cares about the LGBTQ+ community and supports her. She says that in her two and a half years working in their Blanchardstown store she has always felt fully comfortable being out at work.

“Straight away whenever I was like ‘Oh I have a girlfriend’, it just wasn’t an issue. And then for them to partner up with GCN, and especially them donating, it’s just great. It’s great to know that you are fully accepted because you know sometimes companies are like ‘oh we accept it’ but they don’t do anything to show you that they accept it. It’s so nice to know that you really are 100% accepted here.”

She also feels it is important to see a major sports brand like Life Style Sports show their support for LGBTQ+ people. The community remains underrepresented in sport in Ireland and for many, they have had bad experiences growing up which has contributed to low levels of involvement.

Amy thinks that while it is not perfect for LGBTQ+ women in sport, the environment is much more inclusive than in men’s sport. “I struggle to name even one county footballer who is gay because I think even if a gay fella, when he’s younger, could be really talented at football, he gives up because he’s scared about the repercussions of what might happen, or what might be said to him. So I think that’s something that sports really need to focus on […] I think they need to put effort into making sure that people who are LGBT aren’t discriminated against.”

Amy also wants to see people get involved in exercise no matter their experience level and urges anyone who can, to throw on their runners and go for a jog. “I think if you’re self conscious, just throw in your earphones. What I always say to people, because I used to be really self conscious, is when you’re out, how many people do you notice going on a run?” The answer is probably none and Amy says if you do not notice people when they are out running why would people notice you when you are? “No one’s going to look at you and think anything. So go and do it!”

You can still donate to #GCN100kinMay here. Each donor will receive a 10% discount code at LifeStyle Sports so what are you waiting for!

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.