World champion Sean Kelly joins forces with Down Syndrome

South Tipp Today

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South Tipp Today

World champion Sean Kelly joins forces with Down Syndrome

Sean Kelly will cycle with Tour de Munster participants from August 10-13.

Carrick-on-Suir cycling legend Sean Kelly will once again lead the line for this year’s Tour de Munster in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) Tipperary and other Munster branches.

Details of the charity partnership that sees the 17th annual charity cycle ‘share the journey’ with DSI were officially announced on Saturday, April 22, at a family fun day at Ballyseedy Home & Garden Centre in Tralee.

The event was held in association with the Kerry Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland, and attended by cyclists, friends and families connected to DSI.

Phil Keohane with his son Nate,  Risteárd Pierse (chairman, Down Syndrome Kerry) and Niamh Foley.

This will be the 8th successive year that the national charity has been the beneficiary of popular 600km cycle around the six counties of Munster, which begins on Thursday, August 10, in Cork City and continues over four days around the six counties of Munster until it culminates back in Cork on Sunday, August 13.

An avid supporter of Tour de Munster, Sean Kelly will cycle with the group for the full four days of the Tour.

A new addition to this year’s Tour de Munster is the option for cyclists to select their own beneficiary and raise funds and awareness for it. Fundraising can include personal sponsorship, but also commercial sponsorship whereby a sponsor logo placement will accompany a donation attracted by that participant.

Since its inception in 2001, Tour de Munster has raised over €2.4 million for its beneficiaries, with over €1.9 million for DSI alone and a staggering €285,655 raised in 2016. All cyclists cover their own expenses.

Speaking at the partnership announcement, Phil Keohane, Tour de Munster branch liaison officer and cycle participant, said: “The support DSI Munster branches have received through this partnership over the past seven years has been phenomenal, and we appreciate every cent raised. Funds raised make a tremendous difference to the lives of people with down syndrome in Munster, as well as their friends and families, by providing vital services and facilities in each county.”

Paul Sheridan (organiser, Tour de Munster), Joey McSweeney (2) and Risteárd Pierse.

Paul Sheridan, who established Tour de Munster, could not be prouder of the Tour and its many participants over the years. “DSI is an extremely worthy beneficiary of the Tour and over the last seven years of our partnership we have received a huge amount of support from both the charity and families themselves who benefit from the funds raised,” he explained.

“It’s important to acknowledge the hard work and dedication from the cyclists and DSI volunteers which has been truly incredible year after year.

“We are also very grateful to the many companies and the public who have supported the Tour in the past 16 years and we hope they come out and show their support again this August,” Paul added.

Clare FM, Tipp FM, RedFM and WLR FM are the official media partners of Tour de Munster 2017.

More information on Tour de Munster on Facebook and Twitter @tourdemunster.

Further information on Down Syndrome Ireland.