ean Kelly and Roz Purcell Launch Down Syndrome Ireland Charity Cycle -Tour de Leinster September 2015-
Sean Kelly and Roz Purcell, launched this year’s charity cycle Tour de Leinster in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland. The charity is calling on cyclists to saddle up for the Tour de Leinster charity challenge which begins on 24th September and continues over four days until 27th September. This year marks the second year of the charity cycle which will see cycling legend Sean Kelly join participants for the challenging event which takes in a 600km route through some of the most beautiful scenery within the 12 counties of Leinster.
Starting in Dublin city, the route takes the cyclists on a quick visit to Naas before crossing the Wicklow Gap and heading south through Arklow, Gorey and on to Wexford. On day 2, cyclists will take on the epic Mount Leinster and visit counties Kilkenny, Carlow and Laois. On day 3, cyclists face the challenge of the Slieve Bloom Mountains followed by a loop through Tullamore, Athlone, Edgeworthstown and then on to Mullingar. On the final day, the route continues on to the Hill of Tara, across to Drogheda and down the coast to Howth Hill where the cycle finishes.
Based on the hugely successful Tour de Munster event, which has raised more than €1.25 million since 2010, for Down Syndrome Ireland Munster branches, Tour de Leinster will raise much needed funds for the Leinster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland.
Speaking about the event, Pat Clarke, CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland said: “The funds raised from Tour De Leinster will make all the difference to the lives of people with Down syndrome in Leinster, as well as their families, by providing vital services and facilities in each county. Last year was the inaugural year of the event and we raised €100,000 which went towards supporting local services across Leinster. This year our aim is to raise €150,000 for essential services delivered on the ground at local level such as Home Teacher programmes; Speech and language therapy; Early Development Groups and Adult literacy programmes.”
Pat Clarke continued, “Our goal in Down Syndrome Ireland is to assist children born with Down syndrome to be as independent as possible. To achieve this, it is imperative that when they are young they have access to speech therapy and occupational therapy and as they grow we want to help them with other areas of their lives such as independent living and employment opportunities. The objective is that each individual will develop his/her full potential and to help people with Down syndrome make their own futures as bright and independent as possible. This all requires a lot of funding however, and through the Tour de Leinster cyclists, more young people with Down syndrome will be helped in a practical way.”
Down Syndrome Ireland receive little government funding and have to independently fundraise 90% of the €2.4 million required annually to run their services. All services at local level are run on a voluntary basis by parents. All funds raised by participating Tour De Leinster cyclists and sponsors will be used for the maximum benefit of DSI members and will make a difference to over 1,000 families in Leinster.
Local Branches provide a wide range of services locally including:
} Home Teacher Programmes
} Adult Literacy Programmes
} Speech and Occupational Therapy
} Early Development Groups
} Social activities for children and adults