Barefoot champion, Grainne Diamond, inspires the world
2017-09-01 03:35:00 -

Grainne Diamond from Skerries won 80m gold or under-eights and over-sixes at the recent Aldi Community Games August Festival – wearing no shoes at all.

The seven-year-old pupil of St Patrick’s NS in Skerries blazed a barefoot trail at the National Sports Campus on 20 August to the delight of her parents, who are originally from Cameroon.


After coming second in the heats, Grainne complained to her mum and dad that her running shoes were holding her back. They initially balked at her insistence of running barefoot, but she was steadfast, telling them: “Trust me, I am going to win.”


Grainne’s confidence no doubt comes from her sister and coach Rapha, 15, herself a national-level sprinter and no stranger to awards and medals. 


A photo of Grainne’s incredible feat – no pun intended – posted on social media by her father has already received hundreds of like and comments from all over the world.


Ndille Ajah from the UK wrote: “Look at the shock on spectators faces, like how can she do that barefooted? When you start shocking people on your achievements at this age, that makes you a genius. Keep it up, girl.”


Dr Mbianda from the USA said: “Your days ahead are brighter! Great and keep up the good work and always stick to your beliefs. You make us proud.”


Noting Grainne’s parents relenting to their barefoot champion, Pastor Angela Tabe from Sweden wrote: “Out of the mouth of babes wise ideas can come out. Good you listened. May her light continue to shine.”


Grainne’s victory is also believed to be inspiring children in Africa, where many talented young athletes run barefoot for lack of quality sports footwear. 


Tengu Solange, the founder of Kids’ Hall Of Talents Foundation Cameroon, an NGO that nurtures children’s sporting aspirations, expressed her appreciation. 


“We say congratulations to Grainne and express our thanks for the encouragement and hope that her victory has given our children,” she said.

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