Rugby 'shockers' in epic 170km cycle for charities
Twenty nine cyclists undertook a 171km epic journey to Kinsale recently from New Ross RFC, raising more than €8,000 for a defibrillator for Irishtown, money for the children's cancer charity Aoibheann's Pink Tie and for the club.
Setting off at 7 a.m. in the sunshine, the 'Shockers' group - comprising rugby club coaches, an officially attired club President Mick Bailey and members supported by some Barrow Wheeler cyclists - the men were cheered on by local residents and club members. Gardaí provided assistance as the cyclists crossed onto the N25, from where they cycled to Waterford City and on to Kilmeaden where they refuelled. The next stop was Lemybrien, before they climbed the hill beyond Dungarvan, continuing on to Caslemartyr for a stop at the lake and on to Cobh, from where they crossed the ferry at Little Island to Passage West and on into Kinsale, accompanied on the final leg by some members of Kinsale RFC, arriving at 4.50 p.m.
The brainchild of Kinsale man and New Ross RFC coach Ger O'Donovan and Fergus Kent, the idea was to raise money for a public access defibrillator in Irishtown near the Centra shop and for Aoibheann's Pink Tie, as club coaches lost loved ones to a heart attack and cancer. In a remarkable show of camaraderie, solidarity and support, the 29 men travelled together all the way, with most making it to the final destination thanks to the incredible support of the Barrow Wheelers crew and Hugh Byrne who drove alongside in a support van, helping to repair three punctures and to provide assistance along the way.
Club PRO Maurice Quirke said: 'It was a huge success. We avoided showers and had no wind. You couldn't have asked for better conditions for cycling.'
Maurice said the cyclists received a fabulous welcome in Kinsale. 'We got a rapturous welcome. We did an official exchange of club ties and jerseys and enjoyed some food provided by the Kinsale team and some pints.'
The camaraderie and banter made the cycle possible, along with the support of the Barrow Wheelers.
'We want to thank them for all their assistance. In total 4,800 km were cycled and one guy even walked 30km. There are requests for us to do something similar again next year so we're looking into that.'
Maurice thanked everyone who contributed to the sponsorship cards and to Kinsale RFC for the welcome they afforded the 29 cyclists of New Ross.
New Ross Standard