We are delighted to share the fantastic news that Mike Dooling is to receive an MBE in the New Year’s honours list for services to athletics in Merseyside. Mike is the Volunteer Coordinator of the CAFOD Fun Run who took over the helm from Mike Merriman and John Wills a couple of years ago.
Mike, 64, from Rainhill, is the Volunteer Coordinator of the CAFOD Fun Run which enters its 30th year in 2014 and last year attracted over 500 runners fundraising to support CAFOD’s work in some of the world’s poorest communities. He has dedicated his time and energies to the event – which takes place every 27 December for a real post-Christmas workout – for over a decade, helping to raise thousands of pounds.
Mike has been a powerful advocate of athletics in the region, having been a member of Liverpool Harriers and Athletics Club for 50 years. There, Mike has supported the sport as an athlete (completing a marathon in 2 hours and 26 minutes), as a club administrator, event organiser and team manager. He was a track official at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and more recently the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London – in the run up to which he was also a proud Olympic torch bearer.
Mike said: “Ever since school I have never been afraid to volunteer to be part of events, especially anything to do with athletics. I have been co-ordinating Catholic schools’ events in Merseyside for over 40 years and I took over the CAFOD role ten years ago to help out an ex-teacher. Now I plan to carry on until I get to my sell by date!
“The MBE came right out of the blue and was totally unexpected. I appreciate I am one of many thousands out there, in all parts of the country, working in voluntary activities and I have just been very fortunate to have had my nomination accepted. All the family are delighted for me.”
Mike continues to be involved in schools athletics from grassroots to national level. He is a co-opted member of the England Athletics National Council and sits on the North West Regional Council. He has been an active member of the English Schools’ Athletics Association for nearly 30 years and is currently Chairman.
Chris Lappine, Manager of CAFOD’s Liverpool office, said: “Mike has a great passion and love for his athletics work in Merseyside. Being a coach is like being a teacher – which Mike did for so many years. It’s not just a profession, it’s a mission, and he has transferred these qualities over to his volunteering work with CAFOD.
“He has given up his ‘27 December’ many times for the Fun Run and three years ago took over the helm coordinating the run from longstanding CAFOD volunteers Mike Merriman and John Wills.
“Many congratulations Mike – you deserve this award.”
Mike is pictured here with James Tyrrell and Chris Lappine at CAFOD’s Mini Olympics just after Mike carried the Olympic Torch in 2012