Tipperary’s two great rivers will be linked in a new North Tipperary Hospice fundraising event with the inaugural Shannon Suir Cycle set to take place on Saturday August 16th next.
The event is set to become a flagship annual fundraiser for the North Tipperary Hospice, a non-profit organisation that supports the delivery of hospice/palliative care in the North Tipperary area each year to people and their families, free of charge, regardless of their circumstances.
The 120km route will include five legs, starting with Dromineer to Roscrea, followed by Roscrea to Templemore and Templemore to Thurles, where participants will break for lunch by the banks of the River Suir.
After lunch, cyclists will set off for Nenagh, taking in Borrisoleigh along the way, before the final leg, which will be a 10k Family Cycle from Nenagh to Dromineer in which parents will be encouraged to join with their children or siblings for this special end to what will be a memorable day for North Tipperary Hospice and its supporters.
Participants will be welcome to take on any individual leg - Dromineer to Roscrea (40km); Roscrea to Templemore (20k); Templemore to Thurles (15km); Thurles to Nenagh (37km); Nenagh to Dromineer Family Cycle (10km) - of overall 120km route, while there is also the Relay option, which will see teams of five persons (or less) taking on individual legs to cover the entire 120km route.
The registration fee, which will go towards covering costs of the event, is €25 per participant, with €10 per person for the Family Cycle or €20 per family for any more than two people.
However, to support the fundraising for North Tipperary Hospice, cyclists are being asked to raise sponsorship for the event, with sponsorship cards downloadable from the event website www.shannonsuircycle.ie or sent to participants by post on request.
Announcing the event, Kay O’Donoghue of North Tipperary Hospice said the Shannon Suir Cycle is first and foremost an opportunity to raise monies that will go towards meeting the annual €400,000 cost of operating the organisation but also to raise awareness of its activities.
“We have branches in Nenagh, Roscrea, Templemore, Thurles and Drom & Inch and we really wanted to do something that would connect us with all of these locations and provide the opportunity for people in these areas to come out and support us on the day.
“The Shannon Suir Cycle is a perfect fit for that. We have got two majestic rivers in our county, the longest and the third longest in the country, and this event
will be a celebration of them as well.”
Ms O’Donoghue also said that promoting healthy activity is very part of the Hospice agenda and the event supports that objective. “Cycling is a really healthy pursuit, with huge numbers taking up the sport in recent years. A number of people who have never cycled before have already committed to taking part, including taking on the full 120km route. We are delighted with that as it is a huge commitment from them but one that will also benefit them personally from a health perspective.
“We are really looking forward now to the event. We hope to grow it to a major annual event and already, even before our official launch, we have cyclists coming from the likes of Kerry, Cork, Dublin and Clare to participate. We are also getting very positive support from the business community, with pledges of generous sponsorship offers, including in-kind support for the organisation of the event.”
The event is also getting strong support from cycling clubs in the county and beyond. Said Patrick Bergin, Chairman of the North Tipp Wheelers. “We are delighted to get behind this event. It is going to raise much needed support for a charity that does incredible work in the county and the event is also promoting the sport of cycling in Tipperary as well. While the 120km route might seem daunting to those who have not tried the sport yet, it is more than achievable if they start training now. The great thing about the Shannon Suir Cycle also is that people can join at any of the five stages or do it by relay. So whatever the level of fitness is, people can participate.”
So why not get into training now and support a great cause.