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Women saddle up for charity

MEMBERS of the Clare Ladies Cycling Club are attempting to cycle a combined total of 50,000km over the summer, to raise funds for Sláinte an Chláir.
“We did a couch to 50k, just before Easter. The idea was that everyone would be back on the bike for the summer. I suppose it was like a prequel to what we’re doing with Sláinte an Chláir, we’re hoping to cycle 50,000km between us over 16 weeks and to raise funds,” said chairperson Eilis Neville.
“Forty-five of us have signed up for it out of a club of 91, which is pretty good going,” Eilis added.
Members cycle in small groups twice a week, and there are a couple of women abroad who are helping to get the kilometres up.
“On a Wednesday night we would cycle a max of 40km, we leave Ennis around 6.45. On a Sunday we offer three routes, a short route of around 40km, a middling route of around 60km and a long route of about 90km.
“We try to cycle in groups of not more than six. We also have a member who lives in Spain and one in Singapore as well and they’re doing their kilometres.”
Eilis feels that the fundraiser has given the club members a bit of added motivation.
“Every year we do sportifs and we have something to be training for and aiming for.
“This has given a lot of people the lift to get back on the bike and have something to aim for. “Sláinte an Chláir were our charity last year but with Covid we didn’t do much for them. They do amazing work and they came out and gave us a really good talk.
“We just felt we owed it to them to do something this year. I think we gave them about €5,000 last year, but we said we’d go hell for leather now.
“We normally approach businesses for support, but this is our first year doing it like this, through the iDonate page. Normally we have a cycle and give them the price we get, but this year we’re getting sponsored.”
The fundraising will culminate with the annual ladies only ‘Turas na mBan’ on September 11.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.