Cork’s own marathon woman.
Cork Pride has announced that Olympic athlete and Cork native Aoife Cooke will be Grand Marshall at this year’s Pride parade.
Cooke, who qualified for the Olympics back in April, is an active member of the Cork LGBT+ scene, and has previously worked with the Gay Project and LINC, facilitating Couch to 5k and at-home fitness programmes.
Clive Davis, Chairperson of Cork Pride, said: “We’re delighted to have a role model like Aoife in the Cork LGBT+ community and to recognise her amazing achievements by welcoming her as this year’s Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival Grand Marshall.
“Her dedication to running and to health is an inspiration for many in the community, and we couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Cooke has qualified to compete in the marathon event at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, which will take place on August 7th.
As Aoife will be doing preparatory high-altitude training in Utah before the Olympic Games, she will not be present for Cork’s Pride celebrations between July 24th and August 1st. However, she said of the announcement, “I’m very honoured to be asked to be the Grand Marshall of the Cork Pride Festival 2021.
“The theme of this year’s Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival is ‘Together Apart’ – at the time Cork Pride takes place I’ll be in Tokyo preparing for the Olympic Marathon so I can’t be there in person, but if this past year has proven anything it’s that we can be together, apart.
“The community organisations and general community in Cork have been very innovative and adaptive in keeping us all engaged and socially together through different means online. And I want to thank everybody for their huge efforts in this.”
This year will hopefully see a return to some in-person Pride events, with Cork Pride events co-ordinator Konrad Im saying “Last year we were proud to have been able to deliver a comprehensive and reimagined offering of events online that were amazing, however, we’re looking forward to getting some of our events back to safe in-person formats this year, to welcome those who might not be in a home environment where they can seek support through the online format.”